padded cell

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padded cell (plural padded cells)

  1. (idiomatic) A room in insane asylum with padding on the walls to prevent delusional occupants from injuring themselves.
    • 2006, Thomas Lee Cook, Jack Crocker: Catchin' the Con, p. 180:
      Ernie looked completely frazzled to Bill, fried; ready for a straight jacket and a padded cell.