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

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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 Bush's administration transformed what had been a quiet Navy outpost on Cuba's southeastern tip into a place to interrogate and imprison people suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban. Dino Hazell, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 More people can speak their minds but also imprison themselves with addiction. Mark Athitakis, USA TODAY, 12 July 2021 The sweeping law criminalizes what authorities deem to be acts of subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces, and has been used to erode press freedom and imprison pro-democracy activists and government opponents. Eric Cheung, CNN, 24 June 2021 Ultimately, these biased products, solutions, and strategies are built to profit them and imprison your finances. Toby Mathis, Forbes, 24 June 2021 Can Biden out-tough the tough Russian autocrat who has not hesitated to invade neighboring countries and imprison and assassinate regime opponents? Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 10 June 2021 Fjerda, the country to the north, has Grisha hunters that kill or imprison people with powers who fight in Ravka's Second Army. Quinci Legardye, Marie Claire, 29 Apr. 2021 Unfounded fears of teens zonked out on the pot have been weaponized by law-enforcement lobbies, prohibition-minded lawmakers, and unscrupulous grifters as reason why cannabis must remain cause to imprison and impoverish freedom-loving Americans. Chris Roberts, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 On Monday, Reid was charged with driving while intoxicated, a felony that could potentially imprison him for up to seven years. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imprison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for imprison



English Language Learners Definition of imprison

: to put (someone) in prison


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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