im·​pris·​on | \ im-ˈpri-zᵊn How to pronounce imprison (audio) \
imprisoned; imprisoning; imprisons

Definition of imprison

transitive verb

: to put in or as if in prison : confine

Other Words from imprison

imprisonment \ im-​ˈpri-​zᵊn-​mənt How to pronounce imprison (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for imprison



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Examples of imprison in a Sentence

He was imprisoned for murder. He has threatened to imprison his political opponents.
Recent Examples on the Web Many countries will imprison a person for possessing THC products that are legal in the United States, Russian legal expert Jamison Firestone said. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2022 Prosecutors had earlier asked the court to imprison her for 9 1/2 years, close to the maximum sentence of 10 years. Fortune, 4 Aug. 2022 The Magus, as his name would suggest, has become obsessed with dark magic, and hopes to imprison the Angel of Death and strike a bargain to bring his son back to life. Alex Raiman,, 5 Aug. 2022 While small parts of the two-masted wooden schooner have been brought to the surface, researchers have found that most of the ship — including the pen that was used to imprison the captives — remains intact on the river bottom. CBS News, 1 May 2022 There he is hunted by an obsessive Greek colonel, who wants to imprison him in the island’s processing center for refugees, and taken under the wing of a sympathetic local girl, Vänna. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2022 Set in 1869, as Habsburg forces imprison Magyar provincials suspected of rebellious banditry, it was shot entirely on location within Hungary’s prairie-like puszta. David Mermelstein, WSJ, 17 May 2022 This lack of diversity was particularly disquieting given the long history of using cannabis offenses to imprison predominantly people of color. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 10 Mar. 2022 Activists used Mukadam's death to renew calls for the country's Parliament to pass legislation that would fine or imprison offenders for abusing women, children or vulnerable people. Sophia Saifi, CNN, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of imprison

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for imprison

Middle English, from Anglo-French emprisoner, from en- + prison prison

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Time Traveler for imprison

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The first known use of imprison was in the 14th century

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Statistics for imprison

Last Updated

11 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Imprison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for imprison


im·​pris·​on | \ im-ˈpri-zᵊn How to pronounce imprison (audio) \
imprisoned; imprisoning

Kids Definition of imprison

: to put in prison


transitive verb

Legal Definition of imprison

: to confine in prison especially as punishment for a crime — compare false imprisonment

Other Words from imprison

imprisonment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on imprison

Nglish: Translation of imprison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imprison for Arabic Speakers


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