Definition of carceral in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɑːs(ə)r(ə)l/

Entry from British & World English dictionary


Relating to a prison.
Example sentences
  • He argues that in the current period the melding of ghetto and prison through various carceral strategies is the latest method devised for achieving these long-standing objectives.
  • It is a carceral society whose prisons overflowed with an estimated 120,000 people awaiting trial on charges of genocide in the 1990s.
  • Related to this notion of surveillance and carceral institutional space is Foucault's notion of the panopticon, a mechanism for establishing social power.


Late 16th century: from late Latin carceralis, from carcer 'prison'.

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