Definition of borstal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbɔːst(ə)l/


British historical
A custodial institution for young offenders.
Example sentences
  • After a time teaching drama in borstals, prisons and community centres, he suffered two more breakdowns until one day, while sitting on a bus, his persistent angst, dread and fear of failure simply evaporated.
  • Let's build more hospitals, prisons and borstals.
  • We performed in schools, old people's homes, borstals and prisons.


Early 20th century: named after the village of Borstal in southern England, where the first of these was established.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bor|stal

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