jail·break | \ˈjāl-ˌbrāk \

Definition of jailbreak 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a forcible escape from jail



Definition of jailbreak (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to remove built-in limitations from (an electronic device, such as a cellphone) I'm not trying to be overly snarky here, but for … in-house app distribution, I see no need or advantage to jailbreaking an iOS device.— John Welch Last week we learned you can jailbreak every current model of Kindle.— Thorin Klosowski Apple makes it nearly impossible for the average user to download apps from anywhere else unless you jailbreak your phone.— Peter Wells

Examples of jailbreak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

June finds herself back with the Waterfords yet again, despite two jailbreaks and the opportunity to shoot both of them. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2 Is Brutal and Not Much Else," 11 July 2018 Several cases of theft have been reported to police since the jailbreak, and Hirano’s fingerprints have been detected. Washington Post, "Hundreds of Japanese police on manhunt for escaped thief," 12 Apr. 2018 War empowers al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula As the coalition campaign began, AQAP increased its numbers and war chest by staging a massive jailbreak, seizing military hardware and robbing the central bank. Elisabeth Kendall, Washington Post, "What's next for jihadists in Yemen?," 23 Feb. 2018 Turns out there’d been a jailbreak from the Pine Street Hotel and the two fellows on the lam were in our back yard. Michael Smerconish, Philly.com, "You can go home again, if only through your memories | Michael Smerconish," 13 Apr. 2018 One of the main reasons to strengthen the makeshift camps in Syria is to prevent any jailbreaks, like one in February in which a handful of Islamic State fighters escaped, military officials said. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "Pentagon Wades Deeper Into Detainee Operations in Syria," 5 Apr. 2018 The pair also famously orchestrated a cinematic jailbreak — the 1996 escape from a maximum-security prison via helicopter. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, latimes.com, "Wanted for murder for decades, two ex-Chilean guerrillas hid in a Mexican town. Then their double lives began to unravel," 18 Mar. 2018 In a Facebook video, which has amassed nearly 100,000 views and over 1,000 shares, Orsini films the unusual jailbreak. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Suitcase recorded making a break for it at Atlanta International Airport," 15 Mar. 2018

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


1910, in the meaning defined above


2007, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near jailbreak





jail delivery



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Time Traveler for jailbreak

The first known use of jailbreak was in 1910

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More Definitions for jailbreak


jail·break | \ˈjāl-ˌbrāk \

Kids Definition of jailbreak

: escape from prison by force

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Comments on jailbreak

What made you want to look up jailbreak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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