• Incarcerate

    Pronunciation

    • UK IPA: /ɪnˈkɑː.sə.ɹeɪt/

    Origin

    From Medieval Latin incarceratus, past participle of incarcerare ("to imprison"), from Latin in ("in") + carcer ("a prison"), meaning "put behind lines (bars)" – Latin root is of a lattice or grid. Related to cancel ("cross out with lines") and chancel ("area behind a lattice").

    See also carcerate and cancer.

    Full definition of incarcerate

    Verb

    1. To lock away; to imprison, especially for breaking the law.
      • 2013 September 23, Masha Gessen, "Life in a Russian Prison," New York Times (retrieved 24 September 2013)Tolokonnikova has also been an effective public speaker even while incarcerated, but she has spoken out on politics and freedom in general rather than prisoners’ rights.
    2. To confine; to shut up or enclose; to hem in.

    Usage notes

    As a Latinate term, somewhat formal, compared to imprison.

    Synonyms

    Derived terms

    Related terms

    © Wiktionary