Internment means putting a person in prison or other kind of detention, generally in wartime. During World War II, the American government put Japanese-Americans in internment camps, fearing they might be loyal to Japan.

Internment usually doesn’t involve a trial, so you're being held because someone thinks you might be dangerous, but there’s no proof. The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is now widely considered to have been a terrible mistake, in that the citizens who were detained — some for as long as four years — were not traitors, but loyal Americans, and their internment caused them considerable emotional and economic hardship. Internment comes from the Latin internus, “inward.”

Definitions of internment
  1. noun
    the act of confining someone in a prison (or as if in a prison)
    synonyms: imprisonment
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    the act of confining prisoners to their cells (usually to regain control during a riot)
    false imprisonment
    (law) confinement without legal authority
    holding by the police
    type of:
    the act of restraining of a person's liberty by confining them
  2. noun
    confinement during wartime
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    type of:
    captivity, immurement, imprisonment, incarceration
    the state of being imprisoned
  3. noun
    placing private property in the custody of an officer of the law
    synonyms: impounding, impoundment, poundage
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    drug bust, drugs bust
    seizure of illegal drugs by the police
    type of:
    the taking possession of something by legal process
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘internment'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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