Definition of calaboose in English:



  • A prison.

    • ‘The white man then forced Bailey to help lift the dead man into a calaboose full of black prisoners.’
    • ‘In the latest indignity, Hittner ordered Fastow to report to the downtown Federal Detention Center instead of the more upscale calaboose he'd requested.’
    • ‘The calaboose inmate was not a citizen; he was a poor stranger, a harmless whiskey-sodden tramp.’
    • ‘Towns tolerate them and calabooses all over the world provide them with overnight shelter.’
    • ‘The calaboose in Texas, has some interesting history hiding behind its brick walls.’
    • ‘It would appear that although the above was accomplished, the state of the calaboose and the security it provided continued to deteriorate.’
    • ‘An hour or two afterward, the man was arrested and locked up in the calaboose by the marshal - large name for a constable, but that was his title.’
    • ‘Among the finest remaining nineteenth-century calabooses in Texas, the jail was constructed with exterior walls of St. Louis pressed brick trimmed with stone on a cruciform plan.’
    • ‘It is likely that whoever inherits power after the leader's death - even if it is his brother, who does not suffer from his Napoleonic drive - will concentrate on maintaining control over the national calabooses and forget all about planetary adventures.’


Late 18th century from Louisiana French calabouse, from Spanish calabozo ‘dungeon’.