prisonpris‧on /ˈprɪzən/ ●●●S2W2 noun 🔊 🔊 1[countable, uncountable]SCJ a building where people are kept as a punishment for a crime, or while they are waiting to go to court for their trial syn jail, → prisoner, imprison 🔊 He visits his dad in prison every week. 🔊 Ricky has been out of prison for three years now. 🔊 They’ll probably put him in prison for a long time. 🔊 Helen was sent to prison for attacking a man with a knife. 🔊 The two men were arrested only a week after they were released from prison. 🔊 Three terrorists escaped from Brixton Prison. 🔊 an increase in the number of women going to prison 🔊 Mr Gunn received a ten-year prison sentence.2[uncountable]SCJ the system that deals with keeping people in a prison 🔊 the prison service 🔊 Does prison deter criminals from offending again?3[countable] an unpleasant place or situation which it is difficult to escape from 🔊 The farm felt like a prison to her.Grammar• You use prison without ‘the’ when talking in general about someone being kept somewhere as a punishment: He is in prison for murder.The judge sent him to prison.• You use the prison when talking about a particular place: There are about 600 prisoners in the prison.Visitors to the prison are carefully checked.COLLOCATIONSverbsgo to prisonShe went to prison for theft.put somebody in prisonMentally ill people should not be put in prison.send somebody to prisonI was afraid I might get sent to prison.be released from prisonHe was released from prison six weeks ago.let somebody out of prisonWhen’s he going to be let out of prison?come/get out of prisonThe boy just come out of prison after doing two years for assault.escape from (a) prisonBlake escaped from a Missouri prison last year.adjectivesan open prison (=one where prisoners are not restricted as much as usual)He was transferred to an open prison.a maximum security prisonHe was sent to a maximum security prison where prisoners are kept in their cells almost 23 hours a day. prison + NOUNa prison sentence/term (=a period of time in prison as a punishment)He is serving a four-year prison sentence.a prison officer/official/warder/guardLast month, a prisoner attacked two prison officers with a knife.a prison cell (=a room where a prisoner lives)Overcrowding means that many prisoners have to share a prison cell.the prison population (=all the prisoners in a country)The government wants to reduce the size of the prison population.THESAURUSprison a large building where people are kept as a punishment for a crime or while they are waiting to go to court for their trialHe was sentenced to five years in prison.Wandsworth Prisonjail a prison, or a similar smaller building where prisoners are kept for a short timeThis old building is the jail that Butch Cassidy escaped from in 1887.He was taken to a cell in the Los Angeles County Jail.58% of prisoners are in jail for non-violent crimes.The strikers were harassed, beaten and put in jail for trespassing.Grover got caught for not paying his taxes and was sent to jail.gaol /dʒeɪl/ British English another way of spellingjailHe spent the night in gaol.penitentiary /ˌpenəˈtenʃəri/ American English a large prison for people who are guilty of serious crimesthe Ohio State PenitentiaryThe murderer served 10 years at the penitentiary in Stillwater.the abandoned federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Islandcorrectional facility American English formal an officialword for a prison1,000 prisoners rioted at the North County Correctional Facility.detention centre British English, detention center American English a place where young people who have done something illegal are kept, because they are too young to go to prison. Also used about a place where people who have entered a country illegally are keptKevin, who had been abandoned by his mother, had been in and out of detention centres all his life.a juvenile detention centerHarmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow airportopen prison British English a prison in which prisoners have more freedom than in an ordinary prison, usually because their crimes were less seriousIn some open prisons, prisoners are allowed to go home at weekends.cell a small room in a prison or policestation, where someone is kept as a punishmenta prison cellConditions were poor, and there were several prisoners to one cell.