jail·​er | \ ˈjā-lər \
variants: or less commonly jailor

Definition of jailer

1 : a keeper of a jail
2 : one that restricts another's liberty as if by imprisonment

Examples of jailer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Surveillance video obtained by Channel 2 Action News allegedly shows a Polk County jailer Tasing an inmate who was strapped to a chair. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "WATCH: Video allegedly shows jailer use Taser on inmate strapped to chair," 26 May 2018 Turkey—one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists, and a country with a dismal human-rights record of its own—has long been locked in a strategic rivalry with Saudi Arabia and Saudi allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "Saudi Journalist’s Disappearance Reshapes Mideast Power Balance," 18 Oct. 2018 For all its ridiculousness, Mona brings all the attitude and confidence of a River Vixen to the scene, even though she's dressed in a jailer uniform while prancing around the set. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "That "Riverdale" Performance of "Jailhouse Rock" Is Eerily Like This "Pretty Little Liars" Scene," 18 Oct. 2018 Prosecutors and pro-Western lawmakers say Ms. Savchenko, wittingly or not, became a tool of her former jailers in the Kremlin, which is waging a campaign on many fronts against Ukraine’s efforts to wriggle free from its former Soviet master. James Marson, WSJ, "Soldier, Patriot, Hero, Traitor? The Strange Saga of Nadiya Savchenko," 24 Aug. 2018 Many cells lack video cameras that could alert jailers to suicide attempts or other problems, according to the report. Cindy Chang, latimes.com, "LAPD hasn't taken basic measures to prevent suicides in its jails, scathing report says," 15 June 2018 Convict leasing really supplanted slavery, because a lot of white plantation owners and people who were building railroads, or mining would pay money to these jailers, to lease these black prisoners to work on railroads, to work on mines. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "A mass incarceration expert says the 2018 prison strike could be “one of the largest the country has ever seen”," 22 Aug. 2018 When the other inmates were moved to a different location, jailers decided to keep Wilson alone in her cell. Cindy Chang, latimes.com, "LAPD hasn't taken basic measures to prevent suicides in its jails, scathing report says," 15 June 2018 Posts from Holt and other inmates say jailers were bent on hurting them. Fox News, "The Latest: Inmate families gather at police headquarters," 17 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for jailer

Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jailer

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

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More Definitions for jailer



English Language Learners Definition of jailer

somewhat old-fashioned : a person who is in charge of a jail or who guards the prisoners in a jail


variants: also jailor \ ˈjā-​lər \

Kids Definition of jailer

: a person responsible for the operation of a prison



Legal Definition of jailer

: a keeper of a jail

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More from Merriam-Webster on jailer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jailer

Spanish Central: Translation of jailer

Nglish: Translation of jailer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jailer for Arabic Speakers

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excited commotion or publicity

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