in·​car·​cer·​a·​tion | \ (ˌ)in-ˌkär-sə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce incarceration (audio) \
plural incarcerations

Definition of incarceration

: confinement in a jail or prison : the act of imprisoning someone or the state of being imprisoned Despite the drop in crime in past decades, rates of arrest and incarceration in New York City have not gone down.— Robin Steinberg To this day, the Supreme Court has not overruled its infamous Korematsu opinion of 1944, which validated our mass incarceration in deference to national security.— George Takei

First Known Use of incarceration

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for incarceration

Time Traveler

The first known use of incarceration was circa 1540

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Cite this Entry

“Incarceration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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in·​car·​cer·​a·​tion | \ in-ˌkär-sə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce incarceration (audio) \

Medical Definition of incarceration

1 : a confining or state of being confined
2 : abnormal retention or confinement of a body part specifically : a constriction of the neck of a hernial sac so that the hernial contents become irreducible

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