in·​tern·​ment in-ˈtərn-mənt How to pronounce internment (audio)
plural internments
: the act of interning someone or the state of being interned
His parents had never told him about the exclusion laws, or the internment of Japanese-Americans, and the subject had not come up in his textbooks.Timothy Egan
Even in the midst of betrayal and the resulting alienation experienced in the internment, there exists the unnegotiable state of human bonds and possibility for reconciliation.Fumitaka Matsuoka
… an American who spent World War II with his parents in an internment camp.Philip Siekman

Examples of internment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The origin of the Spam musubi is murky, but some have suggested it was created by Barbara Funamura, a Japanese-American woman from Kauai, or during the Japanese internment camps during World War II. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2023 Of the thousands of internment camps the Nazis constructed, Terezin was unique. Douglas Starr, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023 Later, she was captured by the German military and became pregnant by a German officer in an internment camp. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 27 Aug. 2023 The sweeping work presents Minidoka, an internment camp in Idaho where the Japanese American artist was incarcerated for two years in the early 1940s. Angelica Aboulhosn, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Aug. 2023 When a Folk High School is turned into an internment camp for German refugees, the headmaster couple Jakob and Lis, and their children are thrust into an impossible situation. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 30 June 2023 The agreement, signed by 29 Diné representatives and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, allowed the Diné people to return to a part of their ancestral homeland after five years in exile and internment at Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. Anna V. Smith, ProPublica, 26 June 2023 This scene was filmed on location in Aix-en-Provence, France, at the former internment site Camp des Milles, which is now a memorial museum. Tyler Coates, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 June 2023 Mel and Josephine have been married 61 years, but this is the first time Josephine has been in Arkansas since her internment. I.c. Murrell, Arkansas Online, 5 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'internment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of internment was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near internment

Cite this Entry

“Internment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the act of interning : the state of being interned

More from Merriam-Webster on internment

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!