lock·​up ˈläk-ˌəp How to pronounce lockup (audio)
: jail
especially : a local jail where persons are detained prior to court hearing
: an act of locking : the state of being locked

Examples of lockup in a Sentence

the firm conviction that juvenile offenders should never be held in adult lockups
Recent Examples on the Web He and other board members are bound by the same lockup agreement. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2024 But there’s an escape clause written into the deal: Trump can seek a waiver of the lockup from the post-merger board. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2024 Trump can’t sell or leverage his stake in Truth Social for at least six months due to a lockup provision intended to prevent a rapid selloff that could shake investor confidence, but the company has already bolstered Trump’s net worth. Max Zahn, ABC News, 27 Mar. 2024 But over the past few years, the deteriorating conditions and rising death tolls in lockups from New York to Texas to California have attracted increasing scrutiny. Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024 Such lockup periods are standard provisions in corporate deals, designed to instill confidence in investors that the leaders won’t sell before enough time has passed to see how the company performs. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 The complaints include their stories as well as information about the importance of in-person contact for the inmates and their loved ones, particularly children, and practices and cost comparisons at other lockups. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 21 Mar. 2024 Those shares won’t be subject to a lockup, meaning the owners can sell them on the opening day of trading, according to Reddit’s filings. Ryan Gould, Fortune, 20 Mar. 2024 Furthermore, shares purchased by users and moderators will not be subject to a lockup, the period after an IPO where insiders and early investors are banned from selling their stock to prevent the price from going down. Jody Serrano / Gizmodo, Quartz, 26 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lockup.' 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

1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lockup was in 1746

Dictionary Entries Near lockup

Cite this Entry

“Lockup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lockup. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


lock·​up -ˌəp How to pronounce lockup (audio)

Legal Definition


: a cell or group of cells (as in a courthouse) or jail where persons are held prior to a court hearing compare house of correction, house of detention, jail, penitentiary, prison
: the tactic of arranging with a friendly party an option to buy a valuable portion of one's corporate assets in order to discourage a takeover by another party

More from Merriam-Webster on lockup

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