jail

noun
\ˈjāl \

Definition of jail 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody specifically : such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (such 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

jail

verb
jailed; jailing; jails

Definition of jail (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to confine in or as if in a jail

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Examples of jail in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

threatened to jail the punks if they so much as jaywalked
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

A day after a Vista judge agreed to set bail for Kellen Winslow II, who is accused of kidnapping and rape, the former NFL player posted bond and was released from jail Friday morning. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Kellen Winslow II posts bail, released from jail," 13 July 2018 Klinger remained in the Seminole County jail on Friday. Jeff Weiner, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Oviedo man had 'thousands upon thousands' of child porn files, arrest report says," 13 July 2018 Court records show White was released from jail on bond on July 6. CBS News, "Sporting goods store chain fires manager NRA calls "hero"," 12 July 2018 In October 2013, Murray was released from jail two years into a four-year sentence after his 2011 conviction. EW.com, "Michael Jackson was 'chemically castrated' by his late dad, says singer's ex doctor," 12 July 2018 Tensions rose again at the end of the session when Ford called Ward up to the bench and spoke in vague terms about reports that Ward had repeatedly misbehaved on trips from county jail to the courthouse. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, "Judge bars playing entire statement of suspect in Hadiya Pendleton's slaying, gutting its case, defense says," 11 July 2018 The three have since bonded out of the Bexar County Jail, according to jail records. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, "Trio accused of vandalism at missions face federal charge," 11 July 2018 Precetaj told the Free Press in a May phone interview from jail. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "3 Troy siblings move to Albania to live with deported mom," 10 July 2018 He was released from jail after paying a bond of $2,000, records show. Doug Phillips, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Singer Chris Brown arrested in South Florida," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The president issued an executive order to stop the separation of migrant parents and their children at the border — as his administration promised to begin jailing more families together. Jeff Gammage, Philly.com, "About 40 protesters blocking doors to Philly ICE," 3 July 2018 Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has jailed many opponents and taken control of much of the Turkish media, has won the country’s presidential election and will now assume new levels of control over the country’s government and judiciary. Alan Murray, Fortune, "China Trade War Latest, GE and Advent: CEO Daily for June 25, 2018," 25 June 2018 Thus, the White House’s current position is that migrant children should be jailed with their parents, indefinitely — despite the fact that judiciary has forbade such a policy. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Could Enforce the Border Without Locking Up Families," 25 June 2018 The couple eventually went their separate ways, and in the years that followed, Rivera, who could not be reached for comment, was jailed several times for crimes ranging from weapons charges to negligent homicide. Julia Ioffe, GQ, "The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr.," 21 June 2018 In 2009, a sheriff in Morgan County was jailed for his gross appropriation of food provision funds, according to the New York Times. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Alabama Sheriffs Might Not Be Able to Pocket Leftover Prisoner Food Funding Anymore," 12 July 2018 Although debtors prisons were banned in the U.S. nearly 200 years ago, some people who owe money are once again being jailed for civil debts, according to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "He strangled his wife so she wouldn't go to jail for car debt, Texas cops say," 10 July 2018 Darwish, who suffered a broken arm, was jailed on suspicion of felony assault and other misdemeanor charges. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Did the 'system' fail mentally ill man who shot 2 San Diego police officers? Some think so," 1 July 2018 Parents are jailed while being prosecuted, and their children were separated and placed in shelters with children who illegally entered unaccompanied by a parent. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Asylum 101: Here are the basics of what it is and who gets it," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jail.' 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 jail

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jail

Noun

Middle English jaiole, from Anglo-French gaiole, jaiole, from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea cage — more at cage

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Dictionary Entries near jail

Jahvist

Jahwe

jai alai

jail

jailbait

jailbird

jailbreak

Phrases Related to jail

left to rot in jail/prison

Statistics for jail

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jail

The first known use of jail was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for jail

jail

noun

English Language Learners Definition of jail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

jail

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jail (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (a person) in jail

jail

noun
\ˈjāl \

Kids Definition of jail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: prison

jail

verb
jailed; jailing

Kids Definition of jail (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shut up in or as if in a prison

jail

noun
\ˈjāl \

Legal Definition of jail 

: 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 house of correction, house of detention, lockup, penitentiary, prison

Other Words from jail

jail transitive verb

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Comments on jail

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