jail

noun
\ ˈjāl How to pronounce jail (audio) \

Definition of jail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody specifically : such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (such as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those convicted of minor crimes — compare prison
2 : confinement in a jail sentenced to jail

jail

verb
jailed; jailing; jails

Definition of jail (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to confine in or as if in a jail

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Synonyms & Antonyms for jail

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of jail in a Sentence

Noun He was locked up in the county jail. He was arrested and sent to jail. He went to jail for his crimes. He just got out of jail a few weeks ago. He was kept in jail overnight. Verb threatened to jail the punks if they so much as jaywalked
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After Hurwitz went to jail, people who knew about Tim’s murder started talking. oregonlive, "Larry Hurwitz, the ‘Starry Night Murder,’ and a life of crime: Reporter Jim Redden on his years tracking a killer," 17 Sep. 2019 Another key relationship explored in season 2 is the one between Samuel and his brother Nano (Jaime Lorente), who wrongfully went to jail for Marina’s murder at the end of season 1. Marcus Jones, EW.com, "Elite star on Samuel's shocking season 2 romance: 'It's a very powerful relationship'," 17 Sep. 2019 Others—actually, often the same people—are working to elect greener candidates, lobbying to pass legislation, litigating cases headed for the Supreme Court, or going to jail to block the construction of pipelines. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns," 17 Sep. 2019 Given that the Queens office under the previous D.A., the late Richard Brown, had distinguished itself by resisting reform and sending people to jail for minor misdemeanors, Cabán’s message was bound to resonate. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "Power of Attorney," 16 Sep. 2019 The intelligence community and law enforcement agencies have developed a vast body of evidence that could potentially drive him from office and possibly send him and his family to jail. Jefferson Morley, The New Republic, "Democrats Are Trapped in Trump’s “Deep State” War," 16 Sep. 2019 McLaughlin then allegedly said Hutchins would be charged with a crime and taken to jail. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "East Bay man suing city, Vallejo Police Department officer for excessive force," 13 Sep. 2019 The secular candidate was sent to jail on charges of tax evasion and money laundering. Rachael Bunyan, Time, "Tunisia's Presidential Election 2019: Who's Running, What's at Stake," 13 Sep. 2019 He was released, but then two days later was arrested, charged with manslaughter, and taken to jail. Ezra Marcus, Town & Country, "In Anguilla, Scott Hapgood Awaits His Fate," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a private message, Clanton told The Baltimore Sun that the chain of events leading up to his arrest began early this month when his son’s mother was arrested and jailed. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Former actor on ‘The Wire’ allegedly escapes Baltimore police custody at hospital," 14 Sep. 2019 Jamali, who was arrested and jailed for two years before getting out on bail, lost his seat in a provincial assembly. Washington Post, "No sane reason," 4 Sep. 2019 Fourteen suspects have been arrested and jailed for up to a year while the government prepares cases against them. Aimee Ortiz, BostonGlobe.com, "David Ortiz hires former BPD head to look into his shooting," 25 Aug. 2019 The pilot claims that Younie charged and jailed him before receiving the result of the blood test, which came back two days later. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Former SkyWest pilot sues South Dakota cops who administered his failed breathalyzer test," 13 Sep. 2019 Police were investigating Santiago Esparza, the boyfriend of Priscilla Torres; she has been jailed pending $50,000 bond over her alleged role in the death of her daughter, Fox 26 reported. Fox News, "Boyfriend of mother to be charged after body of Texas girl, 5, found in closet," 6 Sep. 2019 Judge Mark Schweikert, who had warned Deters in the past about violating the gag order, held Deters in contempt this week and ordered he be jailed. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Eric Deters jailed after protest in Durrani case," 5 Sep. 2019 Berman had ordered that he be jailed pending trial, though Epstein was appealing that decision. Renae Merle, Matt Zapotosky, Anchorage Daily News, "Women who say Jeffrey Epstein abused them speak out in court," 27 Aug. 2019 On May 1, six months after he was jailed, Carlos appeared on a video screen in a nearly empty immigration courtroom in San Antonio for his bond hearing. Melissa Del Bosque, ProPublica, "The Case That Made an Ex-ICE Attorney Realize the Government Was Relying on False “Evidence” Against Migrants," 13 Aug. 2019

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jail

Noun

Middle English jaiole, from Anglo-French gaiole, jaiole, from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea cage — more at cage

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More Definitions for jail

jail

noun
How to pronounce jail (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a place where people are kept when they have been arrested and are being punished for a crime

jail

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jail (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (a person) in jail

jail

noun
\ ˈjāl How to pronounce jail (audio) \

Kids Definition of jail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

jail

verb
jailed; jailing

Kids Definition of jail (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shut up in or as if in a prison

jail

noun
\ ˈjāl How to pronounce jail (audio) \

Legal Definition of jail

: a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody specifically : such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those convicted of minor crimes — compare house of correction, house of detention, lockup, penitentiary, prison

Other Words from jail

jail transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on jail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jail

Spanish Central: Translation of jail

Nglish: Translation of jail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jail for Arabic Speakers

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