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 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

The Dillinger gang killed at least 10 people and staged violent robberies of banks and police arsenals and three jailbreaks, according to the FBI. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "Gangster John Dillinger's body was set to be exhumed from a cemetery. Here's why it might not happen," 10 Sep. 2019 On Twitter, the researcher confirmed the mobile update effectively killed the jailbreak. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "iOS vulnerability that let you jailbreak your iPhone is once again dead," 26 Aug. 2019 Knuff, who also broke into two hair salons before his arrest and plotting a jailbreak after he was taken into custody, became the third person this year to be condemned to death row from a Cuyahoga County courtroom. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Parma Heights man convicted in prison pen-pal murders sentenced to death vows ‘it’s not over’," 14 Aug. 2019 The team was trying to stop an epic jailbreak of the Marvel universe’s worst villains—Venom, Doctor Octopus, and the Green Goblin among them—while figuring out why the Guardians of the Galaxy had suddenly appeared on Earth. Matthew Gault, Time, "'Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3' Is Only As Much Fun As the Friends You Play it With," 1 Aug. 2019 Thanks to the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate pause, the IPO jailbreak is becoming a stampede. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO," 7 Apr. 2019 The gang killed at least 10 people and staged violent robberies of banks and police arsenals and three jailbreaks, according to the FBI. Michelle Lou, CNN, "Gangster John Dillinger's body will be exhumed from an Indiana cemetery," 30 July 2019 The Jays tacked on four more runs against Dombrowski’s Triple-A bullpen in a jailbreak ninth. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, "Andrew Cashner’s debut just more of the same," 16 July 2019 He was sentenced to death in 2015 over a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising and to life in prison on espionage charges after being convicted of conspiring with Palestinian group Hamas, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and other foreign organizations. Magdy Samaan And Bianca Britton, CNN, "Morsy's son blames Egyptian regime for 'slow deliberate medical murdering' of ex-President," 18 June 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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Dictionary Entries near jailbreak





jail delivery



Statistics for jailbreak

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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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



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

More from Merriam-Webster on jailbreak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jailbreak

Spanish Central: Translation of jailbreak

Nglish: Translation of jailbreak for Spanish Speakers

Comments on jailbreak

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to spread over or through

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