carceral

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin carcer (a prison) +‎ -al (of, pertaining to). Compare incarcerate.

Adjective[edit]

carceral (not comparable)

  1. Of or pertaining to prison
    • 2010 Bernard E. Harcourt, The Illusion of Free Markets
      Neoliberal penality and its earlier iterations have fertilized the carceral sphere.

Usage notes[edit]

Formal, especially academic term, not used in everyday speech,[1] where instead prison is used attributively, as in “the prison system”.

Related terms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Price And Punishment, James Grant, Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2010.
    Relevant quote (indicating that carceral is uncommon) is:
    "Neoliberal penality and its earlier iterations have fertilized the carceral sphere." Mr. Harcourt writes in two languages. The first you have already recognized as a servicable kind of American. The second, just quoted, is the tongue indigenous to the race of college professors who inhabit Planet Tenure. One can tease out some meaning from this tribal patois, but only with application.