- a person confined in prison, as for some crime
- a person held in custody
- a person captured or held captive: often in metaphorical usage: a prisoner of love
Origin of prisonerMiddle English from Old French prisonier
take no prisoners
a command to kill all enemy combatants in a military engagement: phrase often used fig. in describing any ruthless or relentless policy or strategy: a political campaign that took no prisoners
- A person held in custody, captivity, or a condition of forcible restraint, especially while on trial or serving a prison sentence.
- One deprived of freedom of expression or action: “He was a prisoner of his own personality—of that given set of traits that … predisposed him to see the world in a certain way, to make certain moves, certain choices” ( William H. Hallahan )