prisoner

noun
pris·​on·​er | \ˈpriz-nər, ˈpri-zᵊn-ər\

Definition of prisoner 

1 : a person deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, or custody especially : one on trial or in prison

2 : someone restrained as if in prison a prisoner of her own conscience

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Synonyms & Antonyms for prisoner

Synonyms

captive, capture, internee

Antonyms

captor

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Examples of prisoner in a Sentence

He was captured by rebel forces and kept as their prisoner for several months before they set him free. The families were held prisoner for four days.

Recent Examples on the Web

Wiltsie said that despite the administration’s decision to close a State Department office overseeing detainee resettlement, prisoner transfers could resume at a later date. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, "‘There have to be limits’: Lawyers for Guantanamo inmates challenge lifetime imprisonment without charge," 11 July 2018 Recent weeks have seen several prisoner releases, apparently aimed at easing some of the pressure. Maggie Michael, The Seattle Times, "Yemen demands Emirates shut down prisons where abuses rife," 9 July 2018 The former Russian intelligence officer was convicted of spying for Britain before coming to the U.K. as part of a 2010 prisoner swap. Author: Matt Dunham, Jill Lawless, Anchorage Daily News, "Another mystery illness rocks England after spy’s poisoning," 4 July 2018 Sergei Skripal, 66, is a former Russian intelligence officer who was convicted of spying for Britain before coming to the U.K. as part of a 2010 prisoner swap. Matt Dunham And Danica Kirka, BostonGlobe.com, "2 sickened by unknown substance near site of Russian spy’s poisoning in England," 4 July 2018 Sergei Skripal, 66, is a former Russian intelligence officer who was convicted of spying for Britain before coming to the U.K. as part of a 2010 prisoner swap. Matt Dunham And Danica Kirka, chicagotribune.com, "U.K. anti-terror police join investigation into 'unknown substance' that left 2 people in critical condition," 4 July 2018 Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer, was convicted of spying for Britain before coming to the U.K. as part of a 2010 prisoner swap. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "UK couple may have been poisoned by same nerve agent as Russian spy," 4 July 2018 The findings undermine Britain's claims to formally reject all forms of prisoner abuse and will raise fresh questions about whether the government should have taken a more independent approach from the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks. NBC News, "British spies aware of U.S. mistreatment of detainees: parliamentary report," 28 June 2018 Gerardo Hernández, the leader of a Cuban spy ring, was sentenced to life in connection with the shoot-down but was returned to Cuba in 2014 as part of a prisoner exchange. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "Campaign intensifies to indict Raúl Castro for deadly 1996 shoot-down of exile planes," 27 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for prisoner

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for prisoner

The first known use of prisoner was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for prisoner

prisoner

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prisoner

: a person who is kept in a prison

: a person who has been captured and is being kept somewhere

prisoner

noun
pris·​on·​er | \ˈpri-zᵊn-ər, ˈpriz-nər\

Kids Definition of prisoner

: a person who has been captured or locked up

prisoner

noun
pris·​on·​er

Legal Definition of prisoner 

: a person deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, or custody especially : one under arrest, awaiting trial, on trial, or serving a prison sentence

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More from Merriam-Webster on prisoner

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prisoner

Spanish Central: Translation of prisoner

Nglish: Translation of prisoner for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prisoner for Arabic Speakers

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obstinately defiant of authority

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