bai·​ley | \ ˈbā-lē How to pronounce bailey (audio) \
plural baileys

Definition of bailey

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : the outer wall of a castle or any of several walls surrounding the keep
2 : a courtyard within the external wall or between two outer walls of a castle


biographical name (1)
Bai·​ley | \ ˈbā-lē How to pronounce Bailey (audio) \

Definition of Bailey (Entry 2 of 4)

Liberty Hyde 1858–1954 American botanist


biographical name (2)

Definition of Bailey (Entry 3 of 4)

Nathan or Nathaniel died 1742 English lexicographer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Bailey (Entry 4 of 4)

Pearl Mae 1918–1990 American singer

Examples of bailey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here, instead, were the motte-and-bailey dreams of Brexit, the blood and soil nationalism of soon-to-be President Trump and the majoritarian rage scorching through Indian democracy. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "I just voted for the first time," 3 Nov. 2020 But avoid mixers whenever possible — margarita mix, schnapps, baileys, curacao will generally add 10g of carbs per serving. Kimberly Mugler,, "Dos and donts of drinking alcohol on paleo, keto diets," 26 May 2018 Your feudal lord did not have a range of mottes, baileys, bartizans, drawbridges, dungeons, machicolations and turrets to choose from. A-LIST, "Stephen Bayley: Why Taste is the Greatest Taboo," 2 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bailey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bailey


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bailey


Middle English bailli, palisade, bailey, from Anglo-French baille, balie

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The first known use of bailey was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Bailey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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