penitentiary(redirected from Penitentary)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
n. pl. pen·i·ten·tia·ries
1. A prison for those convicted of major crimes.
2. Roman Catholic Church
a. A tribunal of the Roman Curia having jurisdiction in matters relating to penance, dispensations, and papal absolutions.
b. A priest whose special function is the administration of the sacrament of penance in a particular church or diocese.
1. Of or for the purpose of penance; penitential.
2. Relating to or used for punishment or reform of criminals or wrongdoers.
3. Resulting in or punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary: a penitentiary offense.
[Middle English penitenciarie, penance officer, episcopal prison, from Medieval Latin pēnitentiāria, feminine of pēnitentiārius, from Latin paenitentia, penitence, from paenitēns, penitent; see penitent.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -ries
1. (Law) (in the US and Canada) a state or federal prison: in Canada, esp a federal prison for offenders convicted of serious crimes. Sometimes shortened to: pen
2. (Roman Catholic Church) RC Church
a. a cleric appointed to supervise the administration of the sacrament of penance in a particular area
b. a priest who has special faculties to absolve particularly grave sins
c. a cardinal who presides over a tribunal that decides all matters affecting the sacrament of penance
d. this tribunal itself
3. another word for penitential1
4. (Law) US and Canadian (of an offence) punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary
[C15 (meaning also: an officer dealing with penances): from Medieval Latin poenitēntiārius, from Latin paenitēns penitent]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
pen•i•ten•tia•ry(ˌpɛn ɪˈtɛn ʃə ri)
n., pl. -ries,
1. a place for imprisonment, reformatory discipline, or punishment, esp., in the U.S., a state or federal institution for serious offenders.
2. a tribunal in the Curia Romana, presided over by a cardinal having jurisdiction over certain matters, as penance, confession, or dispensation.adj.
3. (of an offense) punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary.
4. of, pertaining to, or intended for imprisonment, reformatory discipline, or punishment.
[1375–1425; late Middle English penitenciarie priest who administers penance, prison < Medieval Latin pēnitentiārius of penance. See penitence, -ary]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||penitentiary - a correctional institution for those convicted of major crimes|
correctional institution - a penal institution maintained by the government
|Adj.||1.||penitentiary - used for punishment or reform of criminals or wrongdoers; "penitentiary institutions"|
|2.||penitentiary - showing or constituting penance; "penitential tears"; "wrote a penitential letter apologizing for her hasty words"|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
penitentiary[ˌpenɪˈtenʃərɪ] N (esp US) (= prison) → penitenciaria f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
penitentiary[ˌpɛnɪˈtɛnʃəri] n (US) → prison f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995