SKIP TO CONTENT

prisoner

A prisoner is a person being held in prison as a punishment. During wartime a prisoner is someone held captive by the enemy. Alternately, if you’re so attractive you can’t leave the house, you’re a prisoner of your own good looks.

Someone who's caught robbing a bank or stealing a car will probably become a prisoner, locked inside a prison for as long as the sentence specifies. If you feel stuck or confined in some way, you may consider yourself a metaphorical prisoner, like an actor who whines that he’s a prisoner of his own success, since he’s not able to go anywhere without cameras flashing and fans screaming.

Definitions of prisoner
  1. noun
    a person who is confined; especially a prisoner of war
    synonyms: captive
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 8 types...
    hide 8 types...
    con, convict, inmate, yard bird, yardbird
    a person serving a sentence in a jail or prison
    detainee, political detainee
    some held in custody
    hostage, surety
    a prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms
    internee
    a person who is interned
    political prisoner
    someone who is imprisoned because of their political views
    POW, prisoner of war
    a person who surrenders to (or is taken by) the enemy in time of war
    lifer
    a prisoner serving a term of life imprisonment
    trusty
    a convict who is considered trustworthy and granted special privileges
    type of:
    unfortunate, unfortunate person
    a person who suffers misfortune
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week