Definition of bridewell in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrīdwel/ /ˈbrīdwəl/


A prison for petty offenders such as a reform school.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bride·well

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