prison

noun
pris·​on | \ ˈpri-zᵊn \

Definition of prison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a state of confinement or captivity
2 : a place of confinement especially for lawbreakers specifically : an institution (such as one under state jurisdiction) for confinement of persons convicted of serious crimes — compare jail

prison

verb
prisoned; prisoning; prisons

Definition of prison (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for prison

Synonyms: Noun

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

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Examples of prison in a Sentence

Noun

The state plans to build two more prisons. He was in prison at the time. If caught, they're all going to prison. She was sent to prison for robbery. He was released from prison. He's scheduled to get out of prison next month. Her marriage became a prison to her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The case came to light in 2016 and Correa was sentenced to 46 months in prison. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "On His Manager’s Secret Service: Espionage Comes to English Soccer," 15 Jan. 2019 He was released in 1986 after serving less than three years in prison. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of the Events of Dirty John," 14 Jan. 2019 Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress, and on December 12 was sentenced to three years in prison. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 Jodie was adopted at just nine months old; her parents were both in prison at the time of her birth. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "All About Hallmark Star Jodie Sweetin's Difficult Journey to Find Love After Divorce," 15 Dec. 2018 Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison after Judge Rosemarie Aquilina heard the testimonies of hundreds of victims who had survived his abuse. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Christine Blasey Ford Supports Another Sexual Assault Survivor In Her First Public Statement Since Kavanaugh Hearing," 12 Dec. 2018 Kara Swisher interviews Maria Ressa, co-founder of the news site Rappler in the Philippines, who is facing 10 years in prison for honestly reporting on its authoritarian leader. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The UK’s inquiry into fake news is focused on a long-dead bikini-finding app," 27 Nov. 2018 Immigration officials have said communities are forcing their hand by refusing to transfer immigrants in local prisons and jails to ICE custody. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "Ex-judges to ICE: End immigration arrests at courthouses," 12 Dec. 2018 Convicted of the then-crime of homosexuality, he was sentenced to years in prison and hard labor camps that brought about the end of his life. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "13 Best Movies Based on True Stories of 2018," 7 Nov. 2018

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

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prison

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin prehension-, prehensio act of seizing, from prehendere to seize — more at get

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Statistics for prison

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prison

The first known use of prison was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for prison

prison

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prison

: a building where people are kept as punishment for a crime or while they are waiting to go to court

: a place or situation from which you cannot escape

prison

noun
pris·​on | \ ˈpri-zᵊn \

Kids Definition of prison

: a place where criminals are locked up

prison

noun
pris·​on

Legal Definition of prison

: an institution usually under state control for confinement of persons serving sentences for serious crimes — compare house of correction, house of detention, jail, lockup, penitentiary

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More from Merriam-Webster on prison

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prison

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prison

Spanish Central: Translation of prison

Nglish: Translation of prison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prison for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prison

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