bai·​ley ˈbā-lē How to pronounce bailey (audio)
plural baileys
: the outer wall of a castle or any of several walls surrounding the keep
: a courtyard within the external wall or between two outer walls of a castle

Examples of bailey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shadow bands, baileys beads, and diamond ring will reappear in opposite order. Ella Gonzales, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1 Apr. 2024 Paths and gardens fill the bailey – the courtyard where soldiers may have trained. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 Dan McLaughlin wrote a brilliant piece recently about the Left’s motte-and-bailey tactics regarding the debate around CRT, and Quarshie’s definition is in the very bowels of the motte. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 22 June 2021 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, 3 Nov. 2020 But avoid mixers whenever possible — margarita mix, schnapps, baileys, curacao will generally add 10g of carbs per serving. Kimberly Mugler,, 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, 2 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bailey.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near bailey

Cite this Entry

“Bailey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Biographical Definition

Bailey 1 of 3

biographical name (1)

Bai·​ley ˈbā-lē How to pronounce Bailey (audio)
Liberty Hyde 1858–1954 American botanist


2 of 3

biographical name (2)

Nathan or Nathaniel died 1742 English lexicographer


3 of 3

biographical name (3)

Pearl Mae 1918–1990 American singer

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