prisoner

noun
pris·​on·​er | \ ˈpriz-nər How to pronounce prisoner (audio) , 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

Survivors of the El Paso attack have held vigils around the city, including outside of the jail in downtown El Paso where Crusius has been kept isolated from other prisoners, on suicide watch. CBS News, "Alleged El Paso shooter indicted on capital murder charges," 12 Sep. 2019 Survivors of the El Paso attack have held vigils around the city, including outside of the jail in downtown El Paso where Crusius has been kept isolated from other prisoners, on suicide watch. NBC News, "El Paso shooting: Grand jury indicts suspect on capital murder charges," 12 Sep. 2019 Survivors of the El Paso attack have held vigils around the city, including outside of the jail in downtown El Paso where Crusius has been kept isolated from other prisoners, on suicide watch. Washington Post, "Grand jury indicts man on capital murder for El Paso attack," 12 Sep. 2019 Survivors of the El Paso attack have held vigils around the city, including outside of the jail in downtown El Paso where Crusius has been kept isolated from other prisoners, on suicide watch. Jake Bleiberg And Cedar Attanasio, Houston Chronicle, "Grand jury indicts man on capital murder for El Paso attack," 12 Sep. 2019 Sentsov was demanding the release of all Ukrainian prisoners. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Release of Oleg Sentsov and the Plight of Those Left Behind," 10 Sep. 2019 More than 46 other prisoners will be moved to other prisons in Para. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "Prison riot in Brazil leaves 16 inmates decapitated and dozens more killed," 30 July 2019 Bribes were offered to prisoners to incriminate their fellow inmate. The Economist, "Learn the law, hope for freedom," 4 July 2019 Along with broad naloxone access and peer-recovery specialists for overdose victims, Rhode Island has a drug-treatment program available to all state prisoners. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Overdose Deaths Likely to Fall for First Time Since 1990," 26 June 2019

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

14 Oct 2019

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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 How to pronounce prisoner (audio) , 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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