Definition of bridewell in English:

bridewell

Syllabification: bride·well
Pronunciation: /ˈbrīdˌwel, -wəl
 
/

noun

  • A prison for petty offenders such as a reform school.
    More example sentences
    • They were hauled off to the barracks, spent the night in the bridewell, and the next day were convicted.
    • In the 17th century, bridewells and reformatory institutions started to appear.
    • With the advent of bridewells, convicts begin to inhabit separate punitive institutions for the first time.

Origin

mid 16th century: named after St. Bride's Well in the City of London, near which such a building stood.

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