jail·​er | \ ˈjā-lər How to pronounce jailer (audio) \
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

Jones told jailers that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, is unemployed and receives food stamps. oregonlive.com, "Booby traps along I-205 bike path nets 2nd defendant community service, order to write apology," 24 June 2019 Before the sun rose, a white mob stormed the jailer, took a weakened and wounded Perry from his cell, near present-day Heritage Square, and hanged him, reportedly in view of Judge John Cheney’s home. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Downtown marker memorializes July Perry, lynched in Orlando nearly a century ago," 21 June 2019 Turkey is the world’s worst jailer of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Bloomberg, The Mercury News, "Turkey frees journalist who faced prison for Erdogan insult," 15 June 2019 And that therefore there is a sort of, longing, and an unbreakable bond between the prisoner and the jailer. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Les Misérables's Dominic West Thinks Jean Valjean Is a Better Hero Than Spiderman," 15 Apr. 2019 The barbarity of the jailers was largely caricature, a suggestion of cruelty rather than something more graphic. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Papillon’ Review: Isolation and Infamy," 23 Aug. 2018 Both jail workers were treated at a hospital and released, said deputy jailer 1st Lt. Rebecca Reynolds Yonker, Fox News, "Police: 2 Kentucky inmates injure jail staff, escape," 22 Aug. 2018 The jailer then found a small baggie of suspected marijuana wedged between the binding and the Bible's pages. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Missouri woman used a Bible to try to smuggle meth and weed into a jail, police say | The Kansas City Star," 29 Mar. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of jailer

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jailer

Statistics for jailer

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jailer

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on jailer

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!