Definition of calaboose in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaləˌbo͞os/


US informal
A prison.
Example sentences
  • The white man then forced Bailey to help lift the dead man into a calaboose full of black prisoners.
  • In the latest indignity, Hittner ordered Fastow to report to the downtown Federal Detention Center instead of the more upscale calaboose he'd requested.
  • The calaboose inmate was not a citizen; he was a poor stranger, a harmless whiskey-sodden tramp.


Late 18th century: from black French calabouse, from Spanish calabozo 'dungeon'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cal·a·boose

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