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In the form or manner of prism. – Boyle.

PRIS-MA-TOID'AL, a. [L. prisma and Gr. ειδος.]

Having a prism-like form.

PRIS'MOID, n. [L. prisma and Gr. ειδος, form.]

A body that approaches to the form of a prism. – Johnson.


Resembling a prism.


Pertaining to or like a prism. – Am. Review.

PRIS-ON, n. [priz'n; Fr. from pris, taken, from prendre, to take, L. prendo; Sp. prision; Arm. prisoun.]

  1. In a general sense, any place of confinement, or involuntary restraint; but appropriately, a public building for the confinement or safe custody of debtors and criminals confined by process of law; a jail. Originally, a prison, as Lord Coke observes, was only a place of safe custody; but it is now employed as a place of punishment. We have state-prisons, for the confinement of criminals by way of punishment.
  2. Any place of confinement or restraint. The tyrant Æolus, / With power imperial curbs the struggling winds, / And sounding tempests in dark prisons binds. – Dryden.
  3. In Scripture, a low, obscure, afflicted condition. – Eccles. iv.
  4. The cave where David was confined. – Ps. cxlii.
  5. A state of spiritual bondage. – Is. xlii.

PRIS'ON, v.t.

  1. To shut up in a prison; to confine; to restrain from liberty.
  2. To confine in any manner. – Shak.
  3. To captivate; to enchain. – Milton. [This word is proper, but imprisons is more commonly used.]


A kind of rural sports; commonly called prison-bars. – Sandys.


Imprisoned; confined; restrained.


  1. One who is confined in a prison by legal arrest or warrant.
  2. A person under arrest or in custody of the sherif, whether in prison or not; as, a prisoner at the bar of a court.
  3. A captive; one taken by an enemy in war.
  4. One whose liberty is restrained, as a bird in a cage.


A house in which prisoners are confined; a jail. – Judges xvi. Shak.


Confining; imprisoning.


Confinement in a prison; imprisonment. – Shak. [The latter is commonly used.]

PRIS'TINE, a. [L. pristinus. See Prior and Præ.]

First; original; primitive; as, the pristine state of innocence; the pristine manners of a people; the pristine constitution of things. – Newton.

PRITH'EE, v.t.

A corruption of pray thee, as, I prithee; but it is generally used without the pronoun prithee.

PRI'VA-CY, n. [from private.]

  1. A state of being in retirement from the company or observation of others; secrecy.
  2. A place of seclusion from company or observation; retreat; solitude; retirement. Her sacred privacies all open lie. – Rowe.
  3. Privity. [Not used.] [See Privity.] – Arbuthnot.
  4. Taciturnity. [Not used.] – Ainsworth.
  5. Secrecy; concealment of what is said or done.

PRI-VA'DO, n. [Sp.]

A secret friend. [Not used.] – Bacon.

PRI'VATE, a. [L. privatus, from privo, to bereave, properly to strip or separate; privus, singular, several, peculiar to one's self, that is, separate; It. privare, Sp. privar, Fr. priver, to deprive. Privo is probably from the root of bereave, Sax. bereafian or gereafian, from reafian, to strip, to spoil, L. rapio, diripio, eripio; privo for perivo or berivo; W. rhaib, a snatching; rheibiaw, to snatch. See Rip, Reap and Strip.]

  1. Properly, separate; unconnected with others; hence, peculiar to one's self; belonging to or concerning an individual only; as, a man's private opinion, business or concerns; private property; the king's private purse; a man's private expenses. Charge the money to my private account, in the company's books.
  2. Peculiar to a number in a joint concern, to a company or body politic; as, the private interest of a family, of a company or of a state; opposed to public, or to the general interest of nations.
  3. Sequestered from company or observation; secret; secluded; as, a private cell; a private room or apartment; private prayer.
  4. Not publicly known; not open; as, a private negotiation.
  5. Not invested with public office or employment; as, a private man or citizen; private life. – Shak. A private person may arrest a felon. – Blackstone.
  6. Individual; personal; in contradistinction from public or national; as, private interest. Private way, in law, is a way or passage in which a man has an interest and right, though the ground may belong to another person. In common language, a private way may be a secret way, one not known or public. A private act or statute, is one which operates on an individual or company only; opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community. A private nuisance or wrong, is one which affects an individual. – Blackstone. In private, secretly; not openly or publicly. – Scripture.


  1. A secret message; particular business. [Unusual.] – Shak. B. Jonson.
  2. A common soldier.

PRI-VA-TEER', n. [from private.]

A ship or vessel of war owned and equipped by a private man or by individuals, at their own expense, to seize or plunder the ships of an enemy in war. Such a ship must be licensed or commissioned by government, or it is a pirate.

PRI-VA-TEER', v.i.

To cruise in a commissioned private ship against an enemy, for seizing their ships or annoying their commerce.


  1. In a secret manner; not openly or publicly.
  2. In a manner affecting an individual or company. He is not privately benefited.


  1. Secrecy; privacy. – Bacon.
  2. Retirement; seclusion from company or society. – Wotton.
  3. The state of an individual in the rank of common citizens, or not invested with office.

PRI-VA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. privatio, from privo. See Private.]

  1. The state of being deprived; particularly, deprivation or absence of what is necessary for comfort. He endures his privations with wonderful fortitude.
  2. The act of removing something possessed; the removal or destruction of any thing or quality. The garrison was compelled by privation to surrender. For what is this contagious sin of kind / But a privation of that grace within? – Davies.
  3. Absence, in general. Darkness is a privation of light. – Encyc.
  4. The act of the mind in separating a thing from something appendant. – Johnson.
  5. The act of degrading from rank or office. Bacon. [But in this sense, deprivation is now used. See Deprivation.]


  1. Causing privation.
  2. Consisting, in the absence of something; not positive. Privative is in things, what negative is in propositions; as, privative blessings, safeguard, liberty and integrity. – Taylor.