What does prison mean?

Definitions for prison
ˈprɪz ənprison

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word prison.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prison, prison housenoun

    a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment

  2. prison, prison housenoun

    a prisonlike situation; a place of seeming confinement


  1. prisonnoun

    A place of long-term confinement for those convicted of serious crimes, or otherwise considered undesirable by the government.

    The cold stone walls of the prison had stood for over a century.

  2. prisonnoun

    Confinement in a prison.

    Prison was a harrowing experience for him.

  3. prisonnoun

    Any restrictive environment, such as a harsh academy or home.

    The academy was a prison for many of its students because of its strict teachers.

  4. prisonverb

    to imprison

  5. Etymology: From prison, from prehensionem, accusative singular of prehensio, from prehendo

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PRISONnoun

    A strong hold in which persons are confined; a gaol.

    Etymology: prison, Fr.

    He hath commission
    To hang Cordelia in the prison. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    For those rebellious here their pris’n ordain’d. John Milton.

    I thought our utmost good
    Was in one word of freedom understood,
    The fatal blessing came; from prison free,
    I starve abroad, and lose the sight of Emily. Dryden.

    Unkind! can you, whom only I adore,
    Set open to your slave the prison door. Dryden.

    The tyrant Æolus,
    With pow’r imperial, curbs the struggling winds,
    And sounding tempests in dark prisons binds. Dryden.

    He, that has his chains knocked off, and the prison doors
    set open to him, is presently at liberty. John Locke.

  2. To Prisonverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
    They, as they sung, would take the prison’d soul,
    And lap it in Elysium. John Milton.

    Universal plodding prisons up
    The nimble spirits in the arteries. William Shakespeare.

    Then did the king enlarge
    The spleen he prison’d. George Chapman, Iliads.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prisonnoun

    a place where persons are confined, or restrained of personal liberty; hence, a place or state o/ confinement, restraint, or safe custody

  2. Prisonnoun

    specifically, a building for the safe custody or confinement of criminals and others committed by lawful authority

  3. Prisonverb

    to imprison; to shut up in, or as in, a prison; to confine; to restrain from liberty

  4. Prisonverb

    to bind (together); to enchain

  5. Etymology: [F., fr. L. prehensio, prensio, a seizing, arresting, fr. prehendre, prendere, to lay hold of, to seize. See Prehensile, and cf. Prize, n., Misprision.]


  1. Prison

    A prison, also known as gaol or jail, is a place in which people are physically confined and usually deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime. Other terms used are penitentiary, correctional facility, remand centre, detention centre, and gaol or jail. In some legal systems some of these terms have distinct meanings. A criminal suspect who has been charged with or is likely to be charged with criminal offense or Offence may be held on remand in prison if he or she is denied or unable to meet conditions of bail, or is unable or unwilling to post bail. A criminal defendant may also be held in prison while awaiting trial or a trial verdict. If found guilty, a defendant will be convicted and may receive a custodial sentence requiring imprisonment. As well as convicted or suspected criminals, prisons may be used for internment of those not charged with a crime. Prisons may also be used as a tool of political repression to detain political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and "enemies of the state", particularly by authoritarian regimes. In times of war or conflict, prisoners of war may also be detained in prisons. A prison system is the organizational arrangement of the provision and operation of prisons.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prison

    priz′n, n. a building for the confinement of criminals, &c.: a jail: any place of confinement.—v.t. to shut in prison, restrain.—n.pl. Pris′on-bars, whatever confines or restrains.—ns. Pris′oner, one arrested or confined in prison: a captive; Pris′oner's-, Pris′on-base, a game among boys, in which those who are caught in a certain way are confined as prisoners—a corr. of prison-bars; Pris′on-fē′ver, typhus-fever; Pris′on-house, place of confinement; Pris′onment (Shak.), confinement in a prison—usually imprisonment; Pris′on-ship; Pris′on-van, a closed conveyance for carrying prisoners.—State prisoner, one confined for a political offence in a state prison. [Fr.,—L. prensio, -onis, for prehensio, a seizing—prehendĕre, -hensum, to seize.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. prison

    1. A place where any lady may have a baby without fearing society. 2. An institution where even crooks go wrong. 3. The House of a Thousand Tears. 4. The last resort of the obscure to achieve fame. 5. A banker's mess-hall. 6. A place where men go to take the vow of chastity, poverty and obedience. 7. An example of a Socialist's Paradise, where equality prevails, everything is supplied, and competition is eliminated.

Suggested Resources

  1. prison

    The prison symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the prison symbol and its characteristic.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prison' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1611

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prison' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2483

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prison' in Nouns Frequency: #638

Anagrams for prison »

  1. porins

  2. prions

  3. spinor

How to pronounce prison?

How to say prison in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prison in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prison in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of prison in a Sentence

  1. Richard Lovelace, To Althea from Prison:

    Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.

  2. Rodney Lincoln:

    I will always be grateful that I had support from my family and friends while I was in prison, they gave me a new appreciation for people. For years, I always felt that few people cared. But I was proven wrong. Whenever I felt down, they always raised me back up. But my message is, be careful. This could happen to you.

  3. Thom Tillis:

    This pastor was in the United States after the coup and after Erdogan was rounding up people all across the country, does anybody really believe that he would have traveled back to a country that he felt like he could have been swept up into that? Samuel Brownback, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, talks to members of the media outside the prison complex Aliaga, Izmir province, western Turkey, where jailed pastor Andrew Craig Brunson appeared on his trial at a court inside the complex (AP) Meanwhile, the year and a half of imprisonment has taken a personal toll on Brunson and his family.

  4. Abdoulaye Fofona:

    We decided to go on strike to demand reparation. We do not understand why someone who killed a prison guard in cold blood can be released like this.

  5. Sheba Maree:

    There wasn't a real investigation into what happened ; there needs to be an investigation held to find out what happened to Jenna Mitchell, they need to investigate what happened to my child and those involved need to go to prison.

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Translations for prison

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    living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
    • A. unsealed
    • B. ectomorphic
    • C. ravening
    • D. proprietary

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