Definition of prison
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
Examples of prison in a sentence
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.
Origin and Etymology of prison
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin prehension-, prehensio act of seizing, from prehendere to seize — more at get
First Known Use: 12th century
First Known Use of prison
PRISON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prison for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of prison for Students
: a place where criminals are locked up
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prison? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).