Definition of penitentiary in English:
noun (plural penitentiaries)
1North American A prison for people convicted of serious crimes.
- Only about 20 of the more than 1,000 prisoners at the federal penitentiary have been convicted of crimes; many have spent years awaiting trial.
- 14 Federal inmates were held at state and local prison facilities until the penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, was established in 1895.
- Indeed, this promise gave the prisons or penitentiaries, as they were now often called, enormous legitimacy, making them the pride, not the shame, of the new republic.
Definition of penitentiary in:
- British & World English dictionary