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Supermax

adjective; compounding
Possessing technologically advanced security precautions for the containment of exceptionally violent and dangerous criminals, said of prisons. apparent meaning: Possessing technologically advanced security precautions for the containment of exceptionally violent and dangerous criminals, said of prisons. The existence of criminals warrants the existence of prisons. When there are criminals who are exceptionally dangerous, they are kept within maximum-security prisons. When the criminals in question are 'the worst of the worst,' they are contained within supermax prisons. The new adjective 'supermax' probably makes use of a peculiar connotation of the 'super-' morpheme. This meaning is associated with the Superman of graphic novels, films, and television series, and it is used to describe things as unusually strong and resistant. Therefore, adding this morpheme to a clipped version of 'maximum-security' produces an adjective that accurately describes this nation's newest high-tech prisons.
 
New thinking on 'Supermax' prisons.
Etymology : compound/clipping 'super-' (large, great, extreme) + 'max' (maximum, maximal) [from 'maximum-security']
Source : MSNBC.com
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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