Definition of imprison in English:



  • Put or keep in prison or a place like a prison.

    ‘he was imprisoned for six months for contempt of court’
    • ‘If litterers don't pay their fines on time, they can be imprisoned for up to six months.’
    • ‘Administering the death penalty is far more expensive than imprisoning the offender for life.’
    • ‘Later, he was also falsely imprisoned for treason.’
    • ‘First, a decision to imprison the man for contempt of court should never be taken too quickly.’
    • ‘Because of his actions 46 people were imprisoned unjustly and lost their freedom for more than three years.’
    • ‘In 1938, Landau was imprisoned for a year as a suspected German spy.’
    • ‘He was cleared of kidnap and assault but served eight months in military prison after falsely imprisoning the woman.’
    • ‘All of the detainees were imprisoned without charge, and the whereabouts of some of them are unknown.’
    • ‘He was imprisoned by the Nazis but escaped to England and returned to Norway in 1945.’
    • ‘He was persuaded to take the job only after being imprisoned and tortured.’
    • ‘A Sheffield woman who was wrongfully imprisoned following an armed raid on her home has won compensation from police.’
    • ‘He and his three co-defendants had been wrongly imprisoned for nine years.’
    • ‘He has been kept imprisoned for six weeks with no evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing.’
    • ‘As a result of that, he had been imprisoned, but had in some way managed to escape and make his way to this country.’
    • ‘Later that year, he was imprisoned for twelve months for his opposition to conscription.’
    • ‘A message informed me that a student leader of my movement had been imprisoned.’
    • ‘Whenever and wherever the U.S. government imprisons someone, the courts should be able to review it.’
    • ‘The statement almost caused some of the government critics to be imprisoned for alleged treason.’
    • ‘According to investigators 18 of the suspects had been imprisoned for similar offences in the past.’
    incarcerated, in prison, in jail, jailed, locked up, in custody, under lock and key, interned, confined, detained, held prisoner, captive, held captive, in chains, in irons, clapped in irons
    detained at her majesty's pleasure
    sent down, behind bars, doing time, inside, away
    doing porridge, doing bird, banged up
    incarcerate, put in prison, send to prison, jail, lock up, take into custody, put under lock and key, put away, intern, confine, detain, hold prisoner, hold captive, hold, put into detention, put in chains, put in irons, clap in irons
    detain at her majesty's pleasure
    send down, put behind bars, put inside
    bang someone up
    View synonyms


Middle English emprison, from Old French emprisoner, from em- in + prison.