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[duhn-juh n] /ˈdʌn dʒən/
a strong, dark prison or cell, usually underground, as in a medieval castle.
the keep or stronghold of a castle; donjon.
Origin of dungeon
1250-1300; Middle English dungeo(u)n, dongeoun, dungun < Middle French donjon < Vulgar Latin *domniōn- (stem of *domniō) keep, mastery, syncopated variant of *dominiōn- dominion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dungeon
  • He then saves the queen's imposter from the dungeon.
  • We also visited the dungeon in the castle, which is where they held prisoners of war.
  • Say your rogue happens to be wandering through a dungeon and you happen upon a group of zombies.
  • She barely looked the idea in the face, and hastened to bar it in its dungeon.
  • My secrecy bricked up a dungeon door behind which something still languishes.
  • Stories have circulated that it was a dungeon where violent mental patients were restrained.
  • The suspect's house includes a dungeon outfitted with torture instruments and an extensive collection of serial killer videotapes.
  • They were called the dungeon cells where insane were chained.
  • The downstairs living area was a brown paneling dungeon.
  • dungeon siege ii has seen patches released to address a variety of bugs.
British Dictionary definitions for dungeon


a close prison cell, often underground
a variant of donjon
Word Origin
C14: from Old French donjon; related to Latin dominus master
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dungeon

c.1300, "great tower of a castle," from Old French donjon "great tower of a castle" (12c.), from Gallo-Romance *dominionem, from Late Latin dominium, from Latin dominus "master" (of the castle; see domain). Sense of "castle keep" led to "strong (underground) cell" in English early 14c. The original sense went with the variant donjon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dungeon in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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dungeon in the Bible

different from the ordinary prison in being more severe as a place of punishment. Like the Roman inner prison (Acts 16:24), it consisted of a deep cell or cistern (Jer. 38:6). To be shut up in, a punishment common in Egypt (Gen. 39:20; 40:3; 41:10; 42:19). It is not mentioned, however, in the law of Moses as a mode of punishment. Under the later kings imprisonment was frequently used as a punishment (2 Chron. 16:10; Jer. 20:2; 32:2; 33:1; 37:15), and it was customary after the Exile (Matt. 11:2; Luke 3:20; Acts 5:18, 21; Matt. 18:30).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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