Imprison Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Imprison, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Imprison?

To place someone in jail.

History and Meaning of Imprison

The act of imprisoning individuals has happened throughout history for various reasons, such as punishment for criminal offenses or for political reasons. Imprisonment means to confine someone to a particular place, usually a jail or prison, as punishment for their crimes or to hold them until their trial or sentencing. The term "imprison" derives from the Latin word "imprisonare," meaning "to put into prison."

In modern times, imprisonment is a widely-used form of punishment for those who have committed crimes. The length of imprisonment depends on the severity of the crime committed, with some constituting a short sentence and others calling for a life sentence.

Examples of Imprison

  1. The judge decided to imprison the defendant for five years for embezzlement.

  2. The police apprehended the burglar and charged him with breaking and entering, leading to his imprisonment.

  3. The prosecutor sought to imprison the suspect for ten years for the violent assault that he committed.

  4. The court chose to imprison the drug dealer for three years on drug-related charges.

Legal Terms Similar to Imprison

  1. Incarceration: Similar to imprisonment, meaning to confine a person to a jail or prison as punishment for a crime.

  2. Detention: Refers to the temporary confinement of individuals in a police station or detention center, usually for a short period of time, while awaiting a hearing or trial.

  3. Custody: Refers to holding someone in confinement, e.g. "remand in custody," which means to keep someone in custody until their trial or sentencing. By contrast, "protective custody" refers to keeping someone detained for their own safety.