Definition of lock someone up (or away) in US English:

lock someone up (or away)

phrasal verb

  • Imprison someone.

    • ‘A teenage thug, who kicked and punched a nurse so severely his head ‘looked like a crushed Easter egg,’ has been locked up for four and a half years.’
    • ‘In one notorious case, a father had his young daughter deported from the centre without his knowledge or a chance to say goodbye while he was locked up in solitary confinement.’
    • ‘A persistent teenage criminal who broke the terms of his antisocial behaviour order has been locked up for five months.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the game, things don't look too bright for him as he is locked up in a jail out of which people generally don't escape.’
    • ‘She spent five years on death row, albeit one specially created for her by the Florida prison authorities, which cleared out an entire wing of an old prison for women, before locking her up in solitary confinement.’
    • ‘If he arrived the same way today he would be locked up in a detention centre.’
    • ‘In prison you are locked up for long periods of time and there is no time to get to know the staff.’
    • ‘Take this traitor to the jail and lock him up; I caught him trying to get in.’
    • ‘When I was locked up as a political prisoner in Taiwan, I encountered a middle-school student.’
    • ‘If I was a copper, which thankfully I am not, I'd be in despair at the attitude of senior Law Lords who are encouraging the idea that burglars should no longer be locked up.’
    • ‘If you want to lock someone up in jail, you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did it, so you have to have an adversarial system where you can rigorously test the evidence of a complainant.’
    • ‘If he had been locked up in jail for a start, the police would have known exactly where to go.’
    • ‘The next thing I knew was that we were locked up in a jail with four other prisoners.’
    • ‘His kind had locked me up in jail for a year, and he wanted mercy.’
    • ‘But when that cell door was slammed shut at night and I was locked away on my own in the dark, it was hard to put a brave face on things.’
    • ‘If I was in charge of the Correctional Services, I would lock you up in solitary confinement and throw away the key, better still, I would bring back the death penalty.’
    • ‘‘I like the idea of locking her up in a jail cell better anyway,’ Joshua quipped.’
    • ‘And if I hadn't, well who knows we could be locked up in a jail now, accused of murder, or even worse, they could have caught up with us!’
    • ‘Everyone here is astounded that I was locked up in the jail's harshest quarters for so long.’
    • ‘Now now Ally, he has been locked away in a magical prison for longer than we have been alive.’
    imprison, jail, incarcerate, send to prison, put behind bars, put under lock and key, put in chains, put into irons, throw into irons, clap in irons, hold captive
    keep out, shut out, refuse entrance to, deny admittance to
    View synonyms