Definition of bagnio in English:


nounPlural bagnios

  • 1archaic A brothel.

    • ‘The most notorious madam of the era was one Elizabeth Hayward who ran bagnios with a rare wit.’
    • ‘On that boulevard of the bagnios, she bought a small parlour house from Mattie Silks and began recruiting the most seductive brides of the multitudes.’
    • ‘At Storytown's peak, over 2000 prostitutes, in various bagnios, were selling Love in hourly increments.’
    • ‘For this vile end the bagnios and lodging-houses are near at hand.’
    • ‘He planted a chestnut tree at George Washington's grave, and on one occasion, according to rumor, eluded his guardians ‘and indulged his abounding manhood in the bagnios of New York.’’
    brothel, house of ill repute, house of prostitution
    View synonyms
  • 2historical (in East Asia) a prison.

    • ‘If found guilty of corruption or peculation, they are imprisoned for three years in a bagnio.’
    • ‘All these are Government slaves, and are carried off at once to one of the three great government prisons or bagnios.’
    • ‘Many other messages were exchanged between Zoraida and the captive until enough money was collected to furnish a ship and ransom other bagnio captives besides himself.’
    • ‘The bagnios were clearly gender segregated and complete nakedness strictly prohibited.’
    • ‘The five years he spent in the Algerian bagnios or prison-houses (1575-1580) made an indelible impression on his works.’
    • ‘In France special prison bagnios were constructed in the eighteenth century at Toulon, Brest, Rochefort, and Lorient.’
    • ‘Garcés examines the five years he spent in the Algerian bagnios and the impact of his imprisonment on his works.’


Late 16th century (in bagnio (sense 2)): from Italian bagno, from Latin balneum ‘bath’.