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Adjacent Words

jai alai
jail bird
jail cell
jail delivery
Jail delivery commission
Jail fever
Jail liberties
Jail limits
Jail lock

Jail definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

JAIL, n. A prison; a building or place for the confinement of persons arrested for debt or for crime, and held in the custody of the sheriff.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence) [syn: jail, jailhouse, gaol, clink, slammer, poky, pokey] v
1: lock up or confine, in or as in a jail; "The suspects were imprisoned without trial"; "the murderer was incarcerated for the rest of his life" [syn: imprison, incarcerate, lag, immure, put behind bars, jail, jug, gaol, put away, remand]

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English jaiole, from Anglo-French gaiole, jaiole, from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea cage more at cage Date: 13th century 1. a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody; specifically such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those convicted of minor crimes compare prison 2. confinement in a jail <sentenced to jail> II. transitive verb Date: 1604 to confine in or as if in a jail

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. (also gaol) --n. 1 a place to which persons are committed by a court for detention. 2 confinement in a jail. --v.tr. put in jail. Etymology: ME gayole f. OF jaiole, jeole & ONF gaole f. Rmc dimin. of L cavea CAGE

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Jail Jail, n. [OE. jaile, gail, gayhol, OF. gaole, gaiole, jaiole, F. ge[^o]le, LL. gabiola, dim. of gabia cage, for L. cavea cavity, cage. See Cage.] A kind of prison; a building for the confinement of persons held in lawful custody, especially for minor offenses or with reference to some future judicial proceeding. [Written also gaol.] This jail I count the house of liberty. --Milton. Jail bird, a prisoner; one who has been confined in prison. [Slang] Jail delivery, the release of prisoners from jail, either legally or by violence. Jail delivery commission. See under Gaol. Jail fever (Med.), typhus fever, or a disease resembling it, generated in jails and other places crowded with people; -- called also hospital fever, and ship fever. Jail liberties, or Jail limits, a space or district around a jail within which an imprisoned debtor was, on certain conditions, allowed to go at large. --Abbott. Jail lock, a peculiar form of padlock; -- called also Scandinavian lock.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Jail Jail, v. t. To imprison. [R.] --T. Adams (1614). [Bolts] that jail you from free life. --Tennyson.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Gaol Gaol, n. [See Jail.] A place of confinement, especially for minor offenses or provisional imprisonment; a jail. [Preferably, and in the United States usually, written jail.] Commission of general gaol delivery, an authority conferred upon judges and others included in it, for trying and delivering every prisoner in jail when the judges, upon their circuit, arrive at the place for holding court, and for discharging any whom the grand jury fail to indict. [Eng.] Gaol delivery. (Law) See Jail delivery, under Jail.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(jails, jailing, jailed) Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. Note: in BRIT, also use 'gaol' 1. A jail is a place where criminals are kept in order to punish them, or where people waiting to be tried are kept. Three prisoners escaped from a jail. = prison N-VAR 2. If someone is jailed, they are put into jail. He was jailed for twenty years. VERB: usu passive, be V-ed

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. [Written also, but not commonly, Gaol.] Prison, penitentiary, bridewell, workhouse, house of correction.

Moby Thesaurus

POW camp, bastille, beleaguer, beset, besiege, big house, black hole, blockade, bolt in, borstal, borstal institution, bound, box in, bridewell, brig, bucket, caboose, cage, calaboose, can, cast in prison, cell, chamber, chokey, clap in jail, clap up, clink, close in, college, compass, concentration camp, condemned cell, confine, constrain, contain, cooler, coop, coop in, coop up, cordon, cordon off, corral, death cell, death house, death row, detain, detention camp, encircle, enclose, encompass, enshrine, federal prison, fence in, forced-labor camp, freezer, gaol, guardhouse, guardroom, hedge in, hem in, hold captive, hold in captivity, hold prisoner, hoosegow, house in, house of correction, house of detention, immure, impound, imprison, incarcerate, include, industrial school, intern, internment camp, jailhouse, jug, keep, kennel, labor camp, leaguer, lock in, lock up, lockup, maximum-security prison, mew, mew up, minimum-security prison, nick, oubliette, pen, pen in, penal colony, penal institution, penal settlement, penitentiary, pocket, pokey, prison, prison camp, prisonhouse, quarantine, quod, rail in, reform school, reformatory, rock pile, send down, shrine, shut in, shut up, slammer, sponging house, stable, state prison, stir, stockade, surround, the hole, throw into jail, tollbooth, training school, wall in, wrap, yard, yard up


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