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From Middle Low German verlies (loss), cognate with Dutch verlies (id.) and pertaining to German verlieren (to lose). Apparently, the original meaning is “place where someone is lost”; possibly a second word (like “place”, “hole”) has been omitted, although no such compound seems to be attested.



Verlies n (genitive Verlieses, plural Verliese, diminutive Verlieschen n)

  1. dungeon (historic prison in a vault)
    Gefangene Feinde ließ man in Verliesen unterhalb der Burg verhungern.
    Captured enemies were starved to death in dungeons below the castle.
  2. an underground prison or place of captivity
    Der Entführer hielt sein Opfer in einem eigens gebauten Verlies im Keller seines Hauses.
    The kidnapper held his victim in a specially built prison in the basement of his house.


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