English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English imprisonen, emprisounen, emprisonen, from Old French emprisonner.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɪmˈpɹɪzən/
  • Rhymes: -ɪzən
  • (file)

Verb edit

imprison (third-person singular simple present imprisons, present participle imprisoning, simple past and past participle imprisoned)

  1. (transitive) To put in or as if in prison; confine somebody against their will.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 87:
      [...] demand for the boots fell sharply after the Battle of Waterloo, and Brunel was imprisoned for debt in 1821.

Usage notes edit

The term to imprison implies a sentencing has taken place when used to describe actions taken by a legal system, whereas to jail may imply a temporary holding before a trial, conviction, and sentencing.

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