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

— see also take-no-prisoners, take no prisoners

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Synonyms & Antonyms for prisoner

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 Navalny is a political prisoner, at Penal Colony No. 2, in Pokrov, about 60 miles from Moscow. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The second Castro goes, &c.," 30 Apr. 2021 On Tuesday, Tehran responded to Blinken’s demand for the release of Americans being held in Iran by opening the door to direct negotiations with the United States on a prisoner exchange. Lara Jakes, BostonGlobe.com, "Impasse over Iran nuclear talks sets off scramble to save accord," 11 Mar. 2021 For example, Israel agreed to fund an undisclosed number of vaccines for Syria in exchange for a prisoner, according to reports. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Vaccines are the hottest new way to establish global influence," 2 Apr. 2021 Advocates suspect that Russian authorities nabbed Reed and Whelan in hopes of using them in a prisoner exchange. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "North Texas couple fear Biden-Putin tensions will prolong their son’s time in Russian prison," 18 Mar. 2021 On Tuesday, Tehran responded to Mr. Blinken’s demand for the release of Americans being held in Iran by opening the door to direct negotiations with the United States on a prisoner exchange. Lara Jakes, New York Times, "Impasse Over Iran Nuclear Talks Sets Off International Scramble to Save Accord," 11 Mar. 2021 Advocates and lawyers for the inmates, a Zen Buddhist priest who was a spiritual adviser for one prisoner, and even the families of some of the victims fought to delay the executions until after the pandemic. Michael Tarm, BostonGlobe.com, "Federal executions at end of Donald Trump’s term were likely COVID-19 super-spreading events," 5 Feb. 2021 Advocates and lawyers for the inmates, a Zen Buddhist priest who was a spiritual adviser for one prisoner, and even the families of some of the victims fought to delay the executions until after the pandemic. Michael Tarm, Star Tribune, "AP analysis: Federal executions likely a COVID superspreader," 5 Feb. 2021 One prisoner was a man in his 80s who was living at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown. Phillip Jackson, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland reports that two more inmates have died of COVID-19 as the pace of prisoner vaccinations accelerates," 14 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for prisoner

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for prisoner

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prisoner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prisoner. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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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