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Related to behind bars: Life behind bars
In jail or prison. I hear Mike's uncle is behind bars again. I wonder what he did this time! Sir, I'm afraid your son has been put behind bars on a charge of drunk driving.
in jail. (*Typically: be ~; put someone ~.) Very soon, you will be behind bars for your crimes. Max should be behind bars soon for his conviction on burglary charges.
in prison It's impossible to imagine what it would be like to spend your whole life behind bars.
Etymology: based on the literal bars used to build a prison
in prison He spent ten years behind bars after being convicted for armed robbery.
In prison, as in All murderers should be put behind bars for life. The bars here refer to the iron rods used to confine prisoners. [c. 1900]
mod. in jail; in prison. You belong behind bars, you creep!