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

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

Whether or not to jailbreak is really a caveat emptor proposition, and certainly not something for casual or novice users. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Jailbreaking: The FAQ," 14 Jan. 2019 Since that jailbreak's disclosure, Nintendo has rolled out a Switch hardware revision that reportedly includes a patch in its boot ROM. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Report: A new Nintendo Switch model will arrive in 2019," 4 Oct. 2018 The jailbreak gained him a golden ticket to the 275-acre Farm Sanctuary. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Escape From New York: Slaughterhouse Refugees Have a Country Place," 1 Oct. 2018 For the film, Salander undertakes a car chase in a Volvo, coordinates a small-scale jailbreak, dives into a bathtub for shelter from an explosion. Nathan Heller, Vogue, "Claire Foy on Becoming a Mother and Trading Her Crown for a Dragon Tattoo," 10 Oct. 2018 The report doesn't state whether the teen has been caught, but officials told FOX 29 the unnamed 16-year-old could be charged with escape and end up in state custody as a result of the jailbreak. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "5 Teens Have Escaped From the Krier Correctional Treatment Center Near San Antonio in 2018," 3 Aug. 2018 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

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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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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Spanish Central: Translation of jailbreak

Nglish: Translation of jailbreak for Spanish Speakers

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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