concentration camp

noun
a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc., especially any of the camps established by the Nazis prior to and during World War II for the confinement and persecution of prisoners.

Origin:
1900–05, applied orig. to camps where noncombatants were placed during the Boer War

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Collins
World English Dictionary
concentration camp
 
n
a guarded prison camp in which nonmilitary prisoners are held, esp one of those in Nazi Germany in which millions were exterminated

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

concentration camp
1901, "compound for noncombatants in a war zone" (see concentration); a controversial idea from the second Boer War (1899-1902), and the term emerged with a bad odor. In ref. to prisons for dissidents and minorities in Nazi Germany from 1934, in Soviet Russia from 1935.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

concentration camp definition


A place for assembling and confining political prisoners and enemies of a nation. Concentration camps are particularly associated with the rule of the Nazis in Germany, who used them to confine millions of Jews as a group to be purged from the German nation. Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other persons considered undesirable according to Nazi principles, or who opposed the government, were also placed in concentration camps and eventually executed in large groups. (See Holocaust.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They are running a concentration camp, not a shelter.
Climb down from your concentration camp guard tower.
Concentration camp prisoners drinking and washing from one of the camp's pumps.
The overhead lights and muddy flats between the silent, windowless buildings suggested a concentration camp.
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