Behind Bars

Meaning of Idiom ‘Behind Bars’

To be behind bars means to be in prison, in jail; incarcerated. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.

Usage

This idiom is often used as the phrase ‘put someone behind bars.’

Examples Of Use

“I won’t stop until I put this man behind bars where he belongs,” said the prosecutor.

“If you keep hanging around with the wrong crowd, you’ll end up behind bars.”

“The fugitive who led U.S. Marshalls on a chase through almost ten states is finally behind bars again.”

Behind bars idiom meaning

Origin

Used since the early 1900s.

This idiom refers to the iron bars traditionally used to confine prisonars in prison or jail cells.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.