- to be in jail or prison
- to be incarcerated or imprisoned in a jail or prison
- to put someone behind bars means arresting someone and putting them in jail or prison
- Before the end of this year, Harrison will be behind bars for his crimes.
- By now, Jonathan should be behind bars for being found guilty of robbery with violence.
- The judge swore to put the men behind bars if they were found guilty of raping the old lady.
- John would still be behind bars were it not for the missing evidence.
- An offense such as pickpocketing was enough to see him put behind bars for more than four years.
- Martha was shocked when she heard that her son Martin was put behind bars for an offense that he did not commit.
- The International Criminal Court is expected to have put behind bars all the rebels involved in recruiting minors into terror groups.
- Dan will definitely be put behind bars if the prosecution finds enough evidence against him.
- John Ruddy spent twenty years behind bars after being convicted of double murder.
The idiom “behind bars” has been in use since the early 18th century. The word “bars” in this idiom refers to the iron bars conventionally used to confine convicted criminals in jails, prisons, or cells.
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