noun, plural pen·i·ten·tia·ries.
- penitential psalm,
- penitential psalms,
Origin of penitentiary
Examples from the Web for penitentiary
The method would come to be known as “The Pennsylvania System” and the institution “a penitentiary.”
Philadelphia coined the term ‘penitentiary’—and set the tone for prison reform.
Walking past a large data center building, painted yellow like a penitentiary, I asked what went on inside.Google Thinks You’re Stupid—and Works to Keep You in the Dark|Andrew Blum|May 29, 2012|DAILY BEAST
“I rediscovered my own humanity in the penitentiary,” he admits.Ex-Prisoners Say Life Term Is Cruel for Teens, As Case Hits High Court|Sandra McElwaine|March 19, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The Mexican Mafia run their empire from the penitentiary to the streets of LA.The Mexican Mafia Is the Daddy of All Street Gangs|Seth Ferranti|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Two weeks later an epidemic of typhoid broke out in the school, and three weeks later in the penitentiary.Preventable Diseases|Woods Hutchinson
Five days had passed since the entrance of Caballuco into the Penitentiary's house.Dona Perfecta|B. Perez Galdos
He feels something of the air of the penitentiary in the very refinements of his luxurious hostelrie.
He was caught, convicted, and was being taken to the penitentiary, but escaped.Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol|Henry Harley Arnold
But now they turn around and want to put Mr. Vaile and Mr. Miner into the penitentiary on the same testimony.The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. 10 (of 12)|Robert G. Ingersoll
noun plural -ries
- a cleric appointed to supervise the administration of the sacrament of penance in a particular area
- a priest who has special faculties to absolve particularly grave sins
- a cardinal who presides over a tribunal that decides all matters affecting the sacrament of penance
- this tribunal itself
Word Origin for penitentiary
early 15c., "place of punishment for offenses against the church," from Medieval Latin penitentiaria, from fem. of penitentiarius (adj.) "of penance," from Latin paenitentia "penitence" (see penitence). Meaning "house of correction" (originally an asylum for prostitutes) is from 1806, short for penitentiary house (1776). Slang shortening pen is attested from 1884.