Meaning of prisoner in English:


Pronunciation /ˈprɪz(ə)nə/

Translate prisoner into Spanish


  • 1A person legally committed to prison as a punishment for a crime or while awaiting trial.

    ‘a prisoner serving a life sentence’
    • ‘A third of all inmates are remand prisoners who are awaiting trial or sentencing.’
    • ‘Certainly, the cost to society of convicted prisoners who commit further crimes as soon as they are released is a high one.’
    • ‘The cells are used to hold prisoners awaiting trial, or following conviction, pending transfer to a main prison.’
    • ‘The conflict was concluded by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, by which time Charles was a prisoner awaiting trial.’
    • ‘If that proves to be the case the magistrate commits the prisoner or prisoners as happened in the present case.’
    • ‘And one in six prisoners are on remand-people awaiting trial who have been convicted of no crime.’
    • ‘The order is taken to be a warrant committing the prisoner into custody for the Corrective Services Act.’
    • ‘As of January this year, death row contained 3,697 prisoners awaiting execution.’
    • ‘Prisoners can also be victims of crime, committed by other prisoners, guards, or the state.’
    • ‘Nearly four thousand prisoners currently await their fate on death row.’
    • ‘At the time of the offences the appellant was either in custody on remand or as a serving prisoner.’
    • ‘In August 2001, he began a relationship with a woman who was a serving prisoner.’
    • ‘At trial, the prisoners had the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention.’
    • ‘Whether a prisoner awaiting execution has the right to have a baby, is a point of dispute in the legal field.’
    • ‘Her fear is that of a prisoner, awaiting execution, in the merciless sunlight of an American dream.’
    • ‘There was no need for another trial as the prisoners had already been tried and sentenced in an open court.’
    • ‘The American Bar Association has been fiercely critical of the way that prisoners have been treated legally.’
    • ‘In his view, the conduct of the prisoners in these Russian trials is in full accord with the Russian character.’
    • ‘A habeas corpus writ requires the release of a prisoner held without trial or lawful charge.’
    • ‘The guards were impressed with the quiet prisoner who accepted his punishment without insubordination.’
    convict, inmate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person captured and kept confined by an enemy or criminal.
      ‘she may have been held prisoner before being killed’
      • ‘200 rebels were taken prisoner’
      • ‘After conquering Troy, you will need to rescue some villagers that have been taken prisoner by an unknown enemy.’
      • ‘He had allowed his dear friend, his sister in Christ, to be taken prisoner by their enemies.’
      • ‘Taken prisoner, he was jailed and as a POW served time in Wakefield and Frongoch prisons.’
      • ‘He was captured by the Chinese Communist Forces and, separated from the other Royal Marines, was taken prisoner.’
      • ‘Being taken prisoner, they should resist it and do nothing that would harm their own country.’
      • ‘Parmentier, a French army officer during the Seven Years War, was taken prisoner and kept in detention in Hamburg.’
      • ‘From time to time there would be executions of guerillas taken prisoner by government forces.’
      • ‘He was taken prisoner by the Khmer Rouge while working in Cambodia when on the payroll of HALO.’
      • ‘Everybody knew about Hitler's order that no commandos should be taken prisoner.’
      • ‘Never in the history of past wars has any combatant done that to enemy prisoners.’
      • ‘Taken prisoner in the second battle of St Albans, he was freed after Edward IV's victory at Towton.’
      • ‘In the Second World War he served in the tank corps, was taken prisoner by the Germans, escaped, and worked for the Resistance.’
      • ‘In 1359 he was in France with Edward III's invading army, was taken prisoner, and ransomed.’
      • ‘Later in the war he was taken prisoner by the Germans while working on a reconnaissance mission in the Greek islands.’
      • ‘It was only in the spring of 1942 that the SS began to send more prisoners into armaments work.’
      • ‘Many of those held at the huge Shibarghan jail were taken prisoner after the fall of Kunduz.’
      • ‘These boys were taken prisoner and survived the war, but thousands more were less fortunate.’
      • ‘The International Red Cross reported that a Macedonian soldier held prisoner was being treated properly.’
      • ‘A few days later Churchill was himself taken prisoner when the armoured train that he was travelling on was ambushed at Chieveley.’
      • ‘The men were taken prisoner and taken to a Dutch army barracks in Batavia, the capital city of Java.’
      prisoner of war, POW
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A person who is or feels confined or trapped by a situation.
      ‘he's become a prisoner of the publicity he's generated’
      • ‘He was a suffering prisoner of emotions trapped in a cage, but yet he was not.’
      • ‘She felt trapped, like a prisoner trapped in a jail cell with no luck of escaping.’
      • ‘I am a virtual prisoner in my own home from April until mid October.’
      • ‘Residents claim faulty street lights have made them virtual prisoners in their own homes.’
      • ‘I am a disabled driver and often feel a prisoner in my own home.’


    take no prisoners
    • Be ruthlessly aggressive or uncompromising in the pursuit of one's objectives.

      ‘they will be taking no prisoners tonight against bitter rivals Wigan’
      • ‘He was a mighty, and very aggressive warrior who took no prisoners in war.’
      • ‘Football's about tough uncompromising individuals, who bleed real blood, take no prisoners and fight to the very end, yeah?’
      • ‘It was not the best, but some of the pitches were bad and referees were like some of the players - they took no prisoners.’
      • ‘When asked if there's a need to name and shame celebs who wear fur, the ‘Baywatch’ babe took no prisoners.’
      • ‘The German attack was led by a crack SS unit that took no prisoners.’
      • ‘We took no prisoners and hard things were said on both sides.’
      • ‘Harper took no prisoners in his Progressive Conservative takeover.’
      • ‘As far back as the 1930s the fashion industry took no prisoners.’
      • ‘They kicked a fair number of wides but then they were under pressure by a tigerish St Peters back line, who took no prisoners.’
      • ‘After all, this is a man who took no prisoners as a player, yet as a coach seems to be working side by side with men who never seem to be out of the dock, one way or the other.’


Late Middle English from Old French prisonier, from prison (see prison).