Gefängnis

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German (ge)vancnisse, (ge)vencnisse (capture, captivity), since 15th century for the place of the captivity, equivalent to gefangen (caught) + -nis. More at fangen (to catch).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɡəˈfɛŋnɪs/
  • (file)
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

Gefängnis n (strong, genitive Gefängnisses, plural Gefängnisse)

  1. prison, jail (building)
    • 1932, Carl von Ossietzky, Rückkehr, in: Die Weltbühne, volume 28, no. 52, Verlag der Weltbühne, page 925:
      Das Gefängnis, das heute in Deutschland nicht mehr strafen sondern bessern und erziehen soll, ist damit sozusagen zum Lazarett der bürgerlichen Ordnung avanciert.
      The prison, which today in Germany is not supposed to punish anymore but to better and educate, has thereby advanced to the military hospital of the bourgeois order, so to speak.
  2. prison sentence
    zehn Jahre Gefängnis bekommento be sentenced to 10 years in prison

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