Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: dur|ance
Pronunciation: /ˈdjʊər(ə)ns

Definition of durance in English:


[mass noun] archaic
Imprisonment or confinement: humorous the actor’s years of durance vile in soap operas
More example sentences
  • But, setting aside my rancor, what we have here is four tales set during her durance vile at his castle, before he has earned her trust and love by learning to behave like a gentleman.
  • An eternity have I lingered, my eternal durance the penance I must pay for my crimes.


late Middle English (in the sense 'continuance'): from Old French, from durer 'to last', from Latin durare. The sense 'imprisonment' is first recorded in the early 16th century.

Definition of durance in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈʃprɑːxɡəˌfuːl
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…