prisoner

[priz-uh-ner, priz-ner]

noun

a person who is confined in prison or kept in custody, especially as the result of legal process.
a person or thing that is deprived of liberty or kept in restraint.

Nearby words

  1. prison,
  2. prison camp,
  3. prison fever,
  4. prison psychosis,
  5. prison rustic work,
  6. prisoner of war,
  7. prisoner's base,
  8. prisoner's dilemma,
  9. priss,
  10. prissie

Origin of prisoner

1300–50; Middle English < Anglo-French. See prison, -er2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prisoner


British Dictionary definitions for prisoner

prisoner

noun

a person deprived of liberty and kept in prison or some other form of custody as a punishment for a crime, while awaiting trial, or for some other reason
a person confined by any of various restraintswe are all prisoners of time
take no prisoners informal to be uncompromising and resolute in one's actions
take someone prisoner to capture and hold someone as a prisoner, esp as a prisoner of war
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 prisoner

prisoner

n.

"person in prison, captive person," late 14c. (earlier "a jailer," mid-13c., but this did not survive Middle English), from Old French prisonier "captive, hostage" (12c., Modern French prisonnier), from prisoun (see prison (n.)). Captives taken in war have been called prisoners since mid-14c.; phrase prisoner of war dates from 1670s (see also POW). Prisoner's dilemma attested from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper