1. A place where persons are confined, or restrained of personal liberty; hence, a place or state o░ confinement, restraint, or safe custody.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name. --Ps. cxlii. 7.
The tyrant Aeolus, . . .
With power imperial, curbs the struggling winds,
And sounding tempests in dark prisons binds. --Dryden.
2. Specifically, a building for the safe custody or confinement of criminals and others committed by lawful authority.
Prison bars, or Prison base. See Base, n., 24.
Prison breach. Law See Note under 3d Escape, n., 4.
Prison house, a prison. --Shak.
Prison ship Naut., a ship fitted up for the confinement of prisoners.
Prison van, a carriage in which prisoners are conveyed to and from prison.
Pris·on, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Prisoned p. pr. & vb. n. Prisoning.]
1. To imprison; to shut up in, or as in, a prison; to confine; to restrain from liberty.
The prisoned eagle dies for rage. --Sir W. Scott.
His true respect will prison false desire. --Shak.
2. To bind (together); to enchain. [Obs.]
Sir William Crispyn with the duke was led
Together prisoned. --Robert of Brunne.
n 1: a correctional institution where persons are confined while
on trial or for punishment [syn: prison house]
2: a prisonlike situation; a place of seeming confinement [syn:
The first occasion on which we read of a prison is in the
history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, "Joseph's master,
took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's
prisoners were bound" (Gen. 39:20-23). The Heb. word here used
(sohar) means properly a round tower or fortress. It seems to
have been a part of Potiphar's house, a place in which state
prisoners were kept.
The Mosaic law made no provision for imprisonment as a
punishment. In the wilderness two persons were "put in ward"
(Lev. 24:12; Num. 15:34), but it was only till the mind of God
concerning them should be ascertained. Prisons and prisoners are
mentioned in the book of Psalms (69:33; 79:11; 142:7). Samson
was confined in a Philistine prison (Judg. 16:21, 25). In the
subsequent history of Israel frequent references are made to
prisons (1 Kings 22:27; 2 Kings 17:4; 25:27, 29; 2 Chr. 16:10;
Isa. 42:7; Jer. 32:2). Prisons seem to have been common in New
Testament times (Matt. 11:2; 25:36, 43). The apostles were put
into the "common prison" at the instance of the Jewish council
(Acts 5:18, 23; 8:3); and at Philippi Paul and Silas were thrust
into the "inner prison" (16:24; comp. 4:3; 12:4, 5).