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See more synonyms for imprison on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to confine in or as if in a prison.
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Origin of imprison

1250–1300; Middle English enprisonen < Old French enprisoner, equivalent to en- en-1 + prison prison + -er infinitive suffix
Related formsim·pris·on·a·ble, adjectiveim·pris·on·er, nounim·pris·on·ment, nounre·im·pris·on, verb (used with object)re·im·pris·on·ment, nounun·im·pris·on·a·ble, adjectiveun·im·pris·oned, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for imprisonment

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The years roll on, the time of imprisonment is over, the man is free.

  • I have seen the duke: the cause of your imprisonment is as I suspected.

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The term of your imprisonment ceases when you relinquish the hope of Beatriz.

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Crushed at first by his imprisonment, he had soon found a dull relief in it.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He was liberated after a week's imprisonment, but banished to his chateau at Verteuil.


    Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

British Dictionary definitions for imprisonment


  1. (tr) to confine in or as if in prison
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Derived Formsimprisoner, nounimprisonment, 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

Word Origin and History for imprisonment


late 14c., from Anglo-French emprisonement, Old French emprisonement (13c.), from emprisoner (see imprison).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper