Definition of bagnio in English:



  • 1archaic A brothel.

    • ‘At Storytown's peak, over 2000 prostitutes, in various bagnios, were selling Love in hourly increments.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The most notorious madam of the era was one Elizabeth Hayward who ran bagnios with a rare wit.’
    • ‘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.

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


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