Definition of bridewell in English:


Line breaks: bride|well
Pronunciation: /ˈbrʌɪdw(ə)l


  • A prison or reform school for petty offenders.
    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.


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

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little