concentration camp

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From concentration + camp. In later use partly after German Konzentrationslager, itself a calque of the English term.


concentration camp (plural concentration camps)

  1. A camp where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners, prisoners of war, refugees etc., are detained for the purpose of confining them in one place, typically with inadequate or inhumane facilities. [from 19th c.]
    • 1927, Charles E. Chapman, A History of the Cuban Republic, IV.81:
      All Cubans (men, women, and children) were ordered to move into garrisoned Spanish towns or concentration camps.
    • 2015, The Guardian, 9 January:
      In 1945, overseen by Alfred Hitchcock, a crack team of British film-makers went to Germany to document the horror of the concentration camps.
  2. (figuratively) A situation wherein crowding and extremely harsh conditions take place. [from 20th c.]


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