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

Definition of lockup

1 : jail especially : a local jail where persons are detained prior to court hearing
2 : an act of locking : the state of being locked

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Synonyms for lockup


bastille, big house [slang], bridewell, brig, calaboose, can, clink [slang], cooler, coop, guardroom, hock, hold, hoosegow, jail, jailhouse, joint [slang], jug, nick [British slang], pen, penitentiary, pokey [slang], prison, quod [British slang], slam, slammer, stir [slang], stockade, tolbooth [Scottish]

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Examples of lockup in a Sentence

the firm conviction that juvenile offenders should never be held in adult lockups

Recent Examples on the Web

Under a direct listing, existing shareholders won’t be subject to a typical lockup waiting period,... Katie Roof, WSJ, "Slack Plans May 13 Online Presentation for Prospective Shareholders," 2 May 2019 Notice an irony here: Google’s bosses are shielded from any challenge coming from disappointed shareholders by a special voting-rights lockup. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Google Confronts Its Bolsheviks," 13 Nov. 2018 The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a police lockup until the arraignment, which could happen Thursday. Fox News, "Police: Teen fatally stabs love rival at Detroit-area school," 12 Sep. 2018 After the Sinaloa cartel boss was recaptured and thrown in another Mexican lockup, the orginization paid a $2 million bribe to a prison official in exchange for getting him moved back to Altiplano, the witness said. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "Witness: El Chapo’s wife was in on plans for prison escape," 23 Jan. 2019 Photo: Michael Bucher for The Wall Street Journal For companies that can forgo the cash, the benefits include sidestepping hefty underwriting fees and avoiding lockups that prevent insiders from selling shares for a set period. Maureen Farrell, WSJ, "Slack Plans to Follow Spotify on Unconventional IPO Route," 11 Jan. 2019 And employees, who are subject to often six-month lockups that keep them from selling their shares. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The 2019 IPO class headlined by Uber will create a ton of new wealth. Will the billions go to mansions or missions?," 20 Dec. 2018 Vos said that county juvenile lockups have been cheaper and more successful than the state's prison. Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin should use tolls to get matching money for Trump's infrastructure plan, top lawmakers say," 7 Feb. 2018 The agreement would overhaul conditions at the troubled Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls and establish policies for new juvenile lockups that are to be built in the coming years. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sweeping deal with teen inmates will see Wisconsin end use of pepper spray and restrict solitary at teen prisons," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lockup.' 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 lockup

1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for lockup

Last Updated

8 May 2019

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Time Traveler for lockup

The first known use of lockup was in 1746

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English Language Learners Definition of lockup

: a place where prisoners are kept
British : a garage (sense 1) that is rented out


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

Kids Definition of lockup

: prison



Legal Definition of lockup

1 : 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
2 : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on lockup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lockup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lockup

Spanish Central: Translation of lockup

Nglish: Translation of lockup for Spanish Speakers

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