jail

noun
\ ˈjāl How to pronounce jail (audio) \

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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Synonyms & Antonyms for jail

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Meanwhile, Lenny Bruce develops an underground vaccination center in Greenwich Village and lands in jail. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "How would Larry David handle Governor Baker’s new ‘companion appointments’?," 12 Feb. 2021 Guntersville Municipal Court officials said Charles David Harris, 59, was sentenced to 120 days in jail, with 116 days suspended. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Blountsville man pleads guilty to driving motorcycle through Doug Jones rally," 11 Feb. 2021 Roughly 15 hairstylists were cutting hair at the Capitol that day, yet only seven were criminally prosecuted for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500 if convicted. Scott Mcclallen, Washington Examiner, "Charges dropped against six hair stylists in 'Operation Haircut'," 9 Feb. 2021 Authorities have identified a Minneapolis man who police say was fatally stabbed overnight in a Brooklyn Center home by a woman in jail pending charges. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Authorities identify Minneapolis man who police say was fatally stabbed in Brooklyn Center domestic," 8 Feb. 2021 He was arrested that same day and remains in jail as of Saturday afternoon. NBC News, "Bond set at $3M after ex-Ohio officer pleads not guilty in shooting death of Andre Hill," 6 Feb. 2021 In May, Lyons spent 10 days in jail for failing to report to probation. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, "Suspect in fatal S.F. crash faced another, separate DUI charge weeks earlier," 5 Feb. 2021 Galo was convicted of manslaughter, spent six weeks in jail, and was deported in 2013. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Pennsylvania Democrats propose new bill to allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses," 5 Feb. 2021 To receive a mail-in ballot, residents must be over the age of 65, disabled, out of the county at the time of the election or in jail without a conviction to be eligible. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, "FAQ: San Antonio city election in May 2021," 2 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Others, such as Andrey Fateyev, a Navalny supporter who spent days with the opposition politician in the Siberian city of Tomsk before he was poisoned, predicted that any attempt to jail Mr. Navalny would galvanize his followers. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Navalny Faces Fraud Charges if He Returns to Russia After Poisoning," 31 Dec. 2020 Authorities decided not to jail Mothafar, who has physical disabilities and uses a wheelchair, because he is considered a low flight risk, especially amid coronavirus travel restrictions. oregonlive, "Oregon case shows extremists’ reliance on social media," 22 Dec. 2020 Authorities decided not to jail Mothafar, who has physical disabilities and uses a wheelchair, because he is considered a low flight risk, especially amid coronavirus travel restrictions. Andrew Selsky, ajc, "Oregon case reflects extremists' need of online presence," 22 Dec. 2020 As planned, officers also would have real-time access to prosecutors, who would help decide whether to charge and jail the suspect, or take them to the diversion center instead, said, a former county prosecutor. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish proposes two-year diversion center program to be run by ADAMHS board, Oriana House," 20 Nov. 2020 Presidential candidates did not haphazardly accuse their rivals of criminal behavior; incumbents did not threaten to jail their opposition or try to wield the Justice Department as a cudgel against their foes. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Case for Prosecuting Trump and His Cronies," 12 Nov. 2020 Under that initiative, the government separated parents to prosecute and jail them, while placing their children in shelters. Nick Miroff, Star Tribune, "Migrant parents could face fateful choice: Be separated from their children or stay together in jail," 23 Oct. 2020 One thing about which the president remained certain was the urgent need for the Justice Department to jail his political opponents — including the Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, and former president Barack Obama. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, "Trump on steroids," 11 Oct. 2020 An attorney for the home-detention company says the firm has never sent someone to jail for missing a payment. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "They’ll have their day in Maryland court. But coronavirus means a long wait, big fees for ankle monitoring.," 28 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for jail

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for jail

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jail. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce jail (audio) \

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 How to pronounce jail (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on jail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jail

Nglish: Translation of jail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jail for Arabic Speakers

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