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[lok-uhp] /ˈlɒkˌʌp/
a jail, especially a local one for temporary detention.
the act of locking up or the state of being locked up.
a temporary imprisonment or detention, as of suspects or prisoners.
a stock that has been held by an individual as a long-term investment, or that a brokerage firm is required by a regulation to hold for a certain period of time before it can be sold.
any investment or credit instrument, as a renewed loan, in which capital is tied up for a long time.
  1. the entire body of type and cuts locked up in a chase preparatory to printing or platemaking.
  2. the act or procedure of locking up type and cuts in a chase.
Automotive. a sudden stopping of the rotation of a wheel.
British Informal. a rented locker, storage space, or garage.
Origin of lockup
First recorded in 1760-70; noun use of verb phrase lock up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lockup
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • About all he was good for was keeping a blurred eye on the lockup and running in drunks.

    Arm of the Law Harry Harrison
  • "Then take me back to the Gonzales lockup," muttered Stiger.

    For the Liberty of Texas Edward Stratemeyer
  • You can march off to the lockup—all three of you if you like; but one of you, anyhow.

    Follow My leader Talbot Baines Reed
  • They were sent to the lockup again, and our party resumed their merrymaking.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • I would rather stay with you until two o'clock than go to the lockup.

    Under Fire Frank A. Munsey
Slang definitions & phrases for lockup



A cell, esp a detention cell or holding cell; the COOLER, tank (1839+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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