jail·​break | \ ˈjāl-ˌbrāk How to pronounce jailbreak (audio) \

Definition of jailbreak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a forcible escape from jail


jailbroke; jailbreaking; jailbreaks

Definition of jailbreak (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to remove built-in limitations from (an electronic device, such as a cell phone) 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 Usually the fence holds, but this time the goats managed a jailbreak, knocking down the walls of their pen and pouring onto the streets of the neighborhood. Melissa Locker, Time, "Massive Herd of Goats Makes a Mad Dash for Freedom to Show the Town Who Is in Charge," 13 May 2020 White anti-apartheid activists escape from not-quite-Alcatraz in Escape From Pretoria, Francis Annan's account of a real 1979 jailbreak in South Africa. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Escape From Pretoria': Film Review," 6 Mar. 2020 Strafach and others also note that these extensive jailbreak capabilities largely eliminate the need for the special research iPhones Apple recently announced. Wired, "Unfixable iOS Exploit Is the Latest Apple Security Upheaval," 27 Sep. 2019 Quilty’s feline roommates aren’t the only ones who enjoy the cat’s bad jailbreak habit, thousands of people liked and shared the original post about Quilty’s antics. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Cat Put in Solitary Confinement at Shelter for Freeing Other Cats May Have Found a Forever Home," 13 Nov. 2019 All the jailbreaks [that] were done later on [happened] once the operating system boots. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Developer of Checkm8 explains why iDevice jailbreak exploit is a game changer," 28 Sep. 2019 This is a far cry from jailbreaks over the past decade that forced users to run outdated versions of iOS. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "What the newly released Checkra1n jailbreak means for iDevice security," 15 Nov. 2019 Wilson, facing a jailbreak from the 49ers defensive line, is sacked for a 7-yard loss. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks rally to hand the San Francisco 49ers their first defeat in an overtime thriller: Live updates recap, score, stats and more.," 11 Nov. 2019 Surveillance video played for jurors Monday showed a San Antonio mom accused of planning a jailbreak purchasing a saw blade from a Home Depot. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "Jurors see more video in San Antonio mother’s trial involving dramatic Bexar County jail escape," 21 Oct. 2019

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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The first known use of jailbreak was in 1910

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Cite this Entry

“Jailbreak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jailbreak. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for jailbreak


How to pronounce jailbreak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jailbreak

: an escape from jail or prison


jail·​break | \ ˈjāl-ˌbrāk How to pronounce jailbreak (audio) \

Kids Definition of jailbreak

: escape from prison by force

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More from Merriam-Webster on jailbreak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jailbreak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jailbreak

Spanish Central: Translation of jailbreak

Nglish: Translation of jailbreak for Spanish Speakers

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