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 He was sentenced to two years in jail but only served a month. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "D.C. man who represented himself at rape trial — asking alleged victim ‘Do you think the defendant is handsome?’ — will face new trial on lesser charges," 30 Nov. 2019 One man's Thanksgiving began with a car crash that would eventually land him in jail. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Suspected drunk driver runs off road, crashes into house in Roseville," 29 Nov. 2019 He was sentenced to six months in jail but was released after three months. Aditi Sangal, CNN, "Chanel Miller says her assault by Brock Turner reflects a culture of 'male sexual entitlement' that goes beyond colleges," 29 Nov. 2019 If convicted, Ortiz-Magro faces up to a year in jail for each charge, The Blast reported. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, "Jersey Shore's Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Calls Daughter 'My Whole World' on Thanksgiving After Arrest," 29 Nov. 2019 Olson remained in jail Wednesday on $10,000 bail, and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Fire Department lieutenant suspended, facing new internal charges in sex assault case," 27 Nov. 2019 Violators could face hefty fines and up to seven years in jail. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Animal cruelty is now a federal felony in the U.S.," 26 Nov. 2019 In March 1996, Horton, then 70, was indicted for the murders and spent about a month in jail. Diana Penner, Indianapolis Star, "The infamous 1971 LaSalle Street murders remain unsolved," 26 Nov. 2019 He was also ordered to spend 60 days in jail, with credit for time served. oregonlive, "Man threatening others with knife outside Southeast Portland homeless shelter is sentenced to probation," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb TURKEY Giuliani has strong ties to the Turkish government and represented a Turkish-Iranian banker, Reza Zarrab, who was jailed in March 2016 on money laundering charges. Dareh Gregorian, NBC News, "Six degrees of Rudy: Giuliani's web tangles three Trump controversies," 30 Nov. 2019 Zhukovskyy, who has been jailed since the crash, will continue to be held without bail. BostonGlobe.com, "Driver waives arraignment on charges in N.H. crash that killed 7 - The Boston Globe," 2 Nov. 2019 Barcelona have come out in support of the Catalan leaders who were jailed for their roles in an independence referendum in 2017. SI.com, "Barcelona Add Voice to Condemnation of Prison Sentences for Catalan Leaders," 14 Oct. 2019 Almena, who has been jailed for more than two years, will return to court in late January before the retrial begins on March 30, Drenick said. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Retrial in Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 set for March 2020," 4 Oct. 2019 One of those buoyed by Giuliani’s efforts: Liviu Dragnea, the former head of Romania’s Social Democratic Party, who was recently jailed on charges of corruption. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "Rudy Giuliani’s Year of Living Dangerously," 26 Sep. 2019 But in October 2018, DNA kept in that backlog helped solve a 1983 Orlando rape case after crime lab analysts found samples taken from the victim matched Leslie Lovan Hammock, who was jailed two years earlier for a similar attack in Manatee County. Cristóbal Reyes, orlandosentinel.com, "Thousands of backlogged rape kits have been tested, with many yielding results, FDLE says," 20 Sep. 2019 Russo has 13 defendants who have been jailed on charges in his courtroom for more than 400 days. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "One Cuyahoga County judge’s contribution to jail crowding: 13 inmates awaiting trial for more than 400 days," 19 Aug. 2019 The charges stemmed from an encounter with two women who were jailed at the West Contra Costa Detention Facility at the time, and maintained that Morseman coerced them through threats of discipline. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "East Bay ex-deputy avoids prison in plea deal over sex crimes with inmates," 15 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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Time Traveler for jail

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for jail

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Jail.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jails. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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