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[im-priz-uh n] /ɪmˈprɪz ən/
verb (used with object)
to confine in or as if in a prison.
Origin of imprison
1250-1300; Middle English enprisonen < Old French enprisoner, equivalent to en- en-1 + prison prison + -er infinitive suffix
Related forms
imprisonable, adjective
imprisoner, noun
imprisonment, noun
reimprison, verb (used with object)
reimprisonment, noun
unimprisonable, adjective
unimprisoned, adjective
incarcerate, jail, restrain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for imprisoned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That he shall be imprisoned in the tower during the king's pleasure.

  • Men were arrested, imprisoned, flogged in the streets of Belfast.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • He was imprisoned in the tower of Anemas with his wife and his son John, then only five years old.

    Constantinople William Holden Hutton
  • He did not even know where his friend was imprisoned, or how he was guarded.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • My dear love is to thee, with dear Thomas Goodyare and the rest of imprisoned Friends.

British Dictionary definitions for imprisoned


(transitive) to confine in or as if in prison
Derived Forms
imprisoner, noun
imprisonment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for imprisoned



c.1300, from Old French emprisoner (12c.), from em- "in" (see in- (2)) + prison (see prison). Related: Imprisoned; imprisoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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