Dictionary

1jail

noun \ˈjāl\

: a place where people are kept when they have been arrested and are being punished for a crime

Full Definition of JAIL

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>
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of JAIL

  1. He was locked up in the county jail.
  2. He was arrested and sent to jail.
  3. He went to jail for his crimes.
  4. He just got out of jail a few weeks ago.
  5. He was kept in jail overnight.

Origin of JAIL

Middle English jaiole, from Anglo-French gaiole, jaiole, from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea cage — more at cage
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

2jail

verb

: to put (a person) in jail

Full Definition of JAIL

transitive verb
:  to confine in or as if in a jail

Examples of JAIL

  1. <threatened to jail the punks if they so much as jaywalked>

First Known Use of JAIL

1604

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi
JAILED Defined for Kids

1jail

noun \ˈjāl\

Definition of JAIL for Kids

:  prison

2jail

verb
jailedjail·ing

Definition of JAIL for Kids

:  to shut up in or as if in a prison

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: jailbaitPrevious Word in the Dictionary: jai alaiAll Words Near: jail
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears