Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Incarceration; the act of restraining the personal liberty of an individual; confinement in a prison.

Imprisonment can be effected without the application of physical restraint by verbal compulsion coupled with the display of available force. The tort of False Imprisonment involves the illegal arrest or detention of an individual without a warrant, by an illegal warrant, or by an illegally executed warrant, either in a prison or any place used temporarily for such purpose, or by force and constraint without actual confinement.


noun commitment to an institution, commitment to prison, confinement, custody, detainment, detainment in custody, held in captivity, held in restraint, in captivity, in custody, in jail, incarceration, internment, keep behind bars, kept as captive, kept in captivity, kept in cussody, kept in detention, kept under arrest, locked up, put behind bars, put in a cell, put under restraint, sent to jail, sent to prison
Associated concepts: false imprisonment, habeas corpus
See also: apprehension, arrest, bondage, captivity, commitment, custody, detention, enclosure, fetter, incarceration, restraint



IMPRISONMENT. The restraint of a person contrary to his will. 2 Inst. 589; Baldw. Rep. 239, 600. Imprisonment is either lawful or unlawful; lawful imprisonment is used either for crimes or for the appearance of a party in a civil suit, or on arrest in execution.
     2. Imprisonment for crimes is either for the appearance of a person accused, as when he cannot give bail; or it is the effect of a sentence, and then it is a part of the punishment.
     3. Imprisonment in civil cases takes place when a defendant on being sued on bailable process refuses or cannot give the bail legally demanded, or is under a capias ad satisfaciendum, when he is taken in execution under a judgment. An unlawful imprisonment, commonly called false imprisonment, (q.v.) means any illegal imprisonment whatever, either with or without process, or under color of process wholly illegal, without regard to any question whether any crime has been committed or a debt due.
     4. As to what will amount to an imprisonment, the most obvious modes are confinement in a prison or a private house, but a forcible detention in the street, or the touching of a person by a peace officer by way of arrest, are also imprisonments. Bac. Ab. Trespass, D 3; 1 Esp. R. 431, 526. It has been decided that lifting up a person in his chair, and carrying him out of the room in which he was sitting with others, and excluding him from the room, was not an imprisonment; 1 Chit. Pr. 48; and the merely giving charge of a person to a peace officer, not followed by any actual apprehension of the person, does not amount to an imprisonment, though the party to avoid it, next day attend at a police; 1 Esp. R. 431; New Rep. 211; 1 Carr. & Payn. 153; S. C. II Eng. Com. Law, R. 351; and if, in consequence of a message from a sheriff's officer holding a writ, the defendant execute and send him a bail bond, such submission to the process will not constitute an arrest. 6 Barn. & Cress. 528; S. C. 13 Eng. Com. Law Rep. 245; Dowl. & R. 233. Vide, generally, 14 Vin. Ab. 342; 4 Com. Dig. 618; 1 Chit. Pr. 47; Merl. Repert. mot Emprisonment; 17 Eng. Com. L. R. 246, n.

References in periodicals archive ?
To learn more about Avon Hart-Johnson and "African American Women with Incarcerated Mates the Psychological and Social Impacts of Mass Imprisonment," visit www.
There should be a fix jail term in cases of life imprisonment and the Court should determine and fix it", he added.
The trial court had awarded him capital punishment while the High Court had awarded him life imprisonment.
Kevin Lavon Andrews 6 Clearwater, FL- Offense: Carrying or possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; Middle District of FloridaSentence: 300 months' imprisonment; 120 months' supervised release (February 11, 2009); Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 156 months' imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment
If the act cause an illness or prevents him from work for more than 30 days, the punishment shall be imprisonment for a period no less than 1 month and no more than 4 months and a fine of no less than OMR 100 and no more than OMR 500 or either of these punishments.
If there is violence, the person is penalized with life imprisonment.
However, now we see there are obstructions, also in determining the measure imprisonment regarding the criminal cases arising from the eavesdropping materials.
Amza Tariq, 18, of Heckmondwike Road, Dewsbury Moor, who was found guilty of burglary, was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment.
The imprisonment issue [in Turkey] needs radical reform, the most urgent part of which is prisoners who are ill.
CAIRO, Aug 17 (KUNA) -- Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi has approved the terrorism law stipulating in part imprisonment for life of any one who may establish or head a terrorist group.
Punishment: Imprisonment and a fine not less than Dh250,000 and not in excess of Dh500,000 or either of these two penalties (Article 20)
Additional Sessions Judge Farrukh Hameed awarded 13 months imprisonment to the accused and directed him to pay a fine of Rs 20,000.