or bor·stal institution

[bawr-stuh l]


(in England) a school for delinquent boys that provides therapy and vocational training.

Origin of borstal

First recorded in 1900–05; named after Borstal, village in Kent, England Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for borstal


Examples from the Web for borstal

Historical Examples of borstal

  • He is not a criminal and earth is not a Borstal Institution.

    Painted Windows

    Harold Begbie

  • You smell out the hedgerows, and every borstal leads you out on to the grass.

    Rest Harrow

    Maurice Hewlett

  • This led to the foundation of the Borstal scheme, which was first formally started in October 1902.

  • At Caversham there is a small proportion of the inmates who should be transferred to a Borstal institution.

    Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders

    W. H. Triggs, Donald McGavin, Frederick Truby King, J. Sands Elliot, Ada G. Patterson, C.E. Matthews and J. Beck

  • I have always said that the hanging gardens of Borstal knocked spots off the hanging gardens of Babylon, and now I know it.

British Dictionary definitions for borstal



(formerly in Britain) an informal name for an establishment in which offenders aged 15 to 21 could be detained for corrective training. Since the Criminal Justice Act 1982, they have been replaced by youth custody centres (now known as young offender institutions)
(formerly) a similar establishment in Australia and New Zealand

Word Origin for borstal

C20: named after Borstal, village in Kent where the first institution was founded
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