Cite
 

Meaning of penitentiary

pen•i•ten•tia•ry

Pronunciation: (pen"i-ten'shu-rē), [key]
— n., pl. adj. -ries,
—n.
  1. a place for imprisonment, reformatory discipline, or punishment, esp. a prison maintained in the U.S. by a state or the federal government for serious offenders.
  2. a tribunal in the Curia Romana, presided over by a cardinalhaving jurisdiction over certain matters, as penance, confession, dispensation, absolution, and impediments, and dealing with questions of conscience reserved for the Holy See.
—adj.
  1. (of an offense) punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary.
  2. of, pertaining to, or intended for imprisonment, reformatory discipline, or punishment.
  3. penitential.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: