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.
Words that rhyme with penitentiaryevidentiary, plenipotentiary, residentiary
For editors and proofreaders
Definition of penitentiary in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.