American English

Definition of prisoner noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a person who is kept in prison as a punishment, or while they are waiting for trial The number of prisoners serving life sentences has fallen. They are demanding the release of all political prisoners.
  2. 2a person who has been captured, for example by an enemy, and is being kept somewhere He was taken prisoner by rebel soldiers. They are holding her prisoner and demanding a large ransom. (figurative) She is afraid to go out and has become a virtual prisoner in her own home. (figurative) He was a prisoner of his own ignorance.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: prisoner