In Persian, someone who has once been a prisoner of war and now is free and not a prisoner anymore is called "Azadeh", literally meaning liberated, free(d). What is the English equivalent for this sense?


You call them a "a former POW", the acronym standing for "prisoner of war":

a person who is captured and held by an enemy during war, especially a member of the armed forces.

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  • Former PW is cool! I like it. – codezombie Aug 23 '15 at 15:23
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    @JasonStack - Not PW - It has to be POW or PoW. – chasly from UK Aug 23 '15 at 16:32
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    Wikipedia has also used PW. That's why I used it. – codezombie Aug 23 '15 at 18:58
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    This is the correct answer because we have no special word for it. And "former" is better than "liberated", because not all former PoWs were liberated. – Dominic Cronin Aug 23 '15 at 20:32
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    ex-POW is also very common, at least in print. – Jim Mack Aug 23 '15 at 21:15

Agreed with @Cenaturus, they could also be called "liberated prisoners of war".

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    In British English "liberated" might suggest they had been freed because the prison had been captured during the war itself, not that they had been released voluntarily at the end of the war. Incidentally this dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/… seems to imply "Azadeh" is referring to freedom as the opposite of slavery, not to warfare - but of course historically, captured enemy combatants were often used as slaves. – alephzero Aug 23 '15 at 20:36

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