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Meaning of PRISON

Pronunciation:  'prizun

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment
  2. [n]  a prisonlike situation; a place of seeming confinement

PRISON is a 6 letter word that starts with P.


 Synonyms: prison house, prison house
 See Also: camp, cellblock, chokey, choky, college, correctional institution, situation, state of affairs, state prison, ward



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Pris"on\ (?; 277), n. [F., fr. L. prehensio, prensio, a
    seizing, arresting, fr. prehendre, prendere, to lay hold of,
    to seize. See {Prehensile}, and cf. {Prize}, n.,
    1. A place where persons are confined, or restrained of
       personal liberty; hence, a place or state o? confinement,
       restraint, or safe custody.
             Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy
             name.                                 --Ps. cxlii.
             The tyrant [AE]olus, . . . With power imperial,
             curbs the struggling winds, And sounding tempests in
             dark prisons binds.                   --Dryden.
    2. Specifically, a building for the safe custody or
       confinement of criminals and others committed by lawful
    {Prison bars}, or {Prison base}. See {Base}, n., 24.
    {Prison breach}. (Law) See Note under 3d {Escape}, n., 4.
    {Prison house}, a prison. --Shak.
    {Prison ship} (Naut.), a ship fitted up for the confinement
       of prisoners.
    {Prison van}, a carriage in which prisoners are conveyed to
       and from prison.
  2. \Pris"on\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Prisoned}; p. pr. & vb.
    n. {Prisoning}.]
    1. To imprison; to shut up in, or as in, a prison; to
       confine; to restrain from liberty.
             The prisoned eagle dies for rage.     --Sir W.
             His true respect will prison false desire. --Shak.
    2. To bind (together); to enchain. [Obs.]
             Sir William Crispyn with the duke was led Together
             prisoned.                             --Robert of
Easton Bible Dictionary

The first occasion on which we read of a prison is in the history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, "Joseph's master, took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound" (Gen. 39:20-23). The Heb. word here used (sohar) means properly a round tower or fortress. It seems to have been a part of Potiphar's house, a place in which state prisoners were kept.

The Mosaic law made no provision for imprisonment as a punishment. In the wilderness two persons were "put in ward" (Lev. 24:12; Num. 15:34), but it was only till the mind of God concerning them should be ascertained. Prisons and prisoners are mentioned in the book of Psalms (69:33; 79:11; 142:7). Samson was confined in a Philistine prison (Judg. 16:21, 25). In the subsequent history of Israel frequent references are made to prisons (1 Kings 22:27; 2 Kings 17:4; 25:27, 29; 2 Chr. 16:10; Isa. 42:7; Jer. 32:2). Prisons seem to have been common in New Testament times (Matt. 11:2; 25:36, 43). The apostles were put into the "common prison" at the instance of the Jewish council (Acts 5:18, 23; 8:3); and at Philippi Paul and Silas were thrust into the "inner prison" (16:24; comp. 4:3; 12:4, 5).