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

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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 Instead, the Obama Administration pursued a prisoner exchange brokered by the State Department—Bergdahl for the five Taliban officials in Guantánamo. Michael Ames, The New Yorker, 7 Sep. 2021 Zelenskyy said Kyiv is seeking a permanent cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, a prisoner exchange, open crossings at the line of contact, and to ensure Red Cross access to the conflict zone. BostonGlobe.com, 22 Aug. 2021 Iranian media also reported that Tehran would no longer discuss a prisoner exchange with the U.S. that could have secured the release of Americans held by Iran. NBC News, 5 Aug. 2021 Kotey instructed hostages to kneel and watch a Syrian prisoner’s execution while holding signs begging for their release, prosecutors said. Rachel Weiner, Tom Jackman, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Sep. 2021 Kotey instructed hostages to kneel and watch a Syrian prisoner’s execution while holding signs begging for their release, prosecutors said. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 Kotey instructed hostages to kneel and watch a Syrian prisoner's execution while holding signs begging for their release, prosecutors said. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Sep. 2021 No longer a mere prisoner of her nasty stepmother (Idina Menzel) awaiting salvation at the hands of her beloved prince, this Cinderella is a strong, business-minded dressmaker who wants to work in high fashion. David Sims, The Atlantic, 1 Sep. 2021 Indiana State Police have launched an investigation into a second prisoner death involving a Southern Indiana jail where Louisville woman Ta'Neasha Chappell was held and died. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, 1 Sep. 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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near prisoner

prison camp

prisoner

prisoner's base

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Statistics for prisoner

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prisoner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prisoner. Accessed 24 Sep. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on prisoner

Nglish: Translation of prisoner for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prisoner for Arabic Speakers

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