concentration camp


: a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard
used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners
The Nazi soldiers hauled [Mordechai] Strigler off to a concentration camp, and carved swastikas into his cheeks and forehead with a razor blade. Over the next five years, he was sent from one concentration camp or slave-labor camp to another.David RemnickShe ended up dying in a concentration camp, just a few months before she would have been liberated.Marilyn ReynoldsThe V2 killed thousands of British civilians while 20,000 concentration camp inmates died as slave labourers during its manufacture in the closing stages of the second world war.Anna Tomforde et al.
see also death camp

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The six-part show tells the powerful true-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who is given the job of tattooing identification numbers on fellow prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War Two. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 16 Mar. 2023 Cohen, a volunteer at the Holocaust Memorial Museum who was liberated from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945, met Emhoff and Vice President Kamala Harris last year in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Dan Belson, Baltimore Sun, 7 Feb. 2023 After two years, he was moved to Theresienstadt, a ghetto as well as a transit, labor and concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2023 Ebert fought to survive and protect her two other sisters, witnessing liberation from the concentration camp in 1945. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 1 Feb. 2023 In the town of Oświęcim in southern Poland, roughly 1.1 million people were killed at the concentration camp now a memorial site, which serves as a stark reminder of the the systematic murder of Jews targeted by Nazi Germany. Ken Tran, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2023 One image of girl holding her mother’s hand while clutching a teddy bear in the other drew images of himself on a train headed for the concentration camp. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 27 Jan. 2023 Prisoners at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 25 Jan. 2023 In 1944, he was transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau, then Stutthof concentration camp, and was then sent on a death march. Town & Country, 18 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concentration camp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of concentration camp was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near concentration camp

Cite this Entry

“Concentration camp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

concentration camp

: a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained

More from Merriam-Webster on concentration camp

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