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 State police said Wayne Weeks, 38, escaped from the Hopkinsville jail’s custody while on work release Saturday evening around 5:30 p.m. Erin Couch, Cincinnati.com, "Inmate escapes from Kentucky county jail, state police say," 12 Jan. 2020 Violations are punishable by up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Mary Huber, USA TODAY, "The 2020 census is on the way. Here’s what to expect," 11 Jan. 2020 The financier, who died by suicide Aug. 10 while being held in a New York City jail, was convicted in 2008 of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution. NBC News, "MIT review cites big 'mistakes' in taking Epstein donations," 11 Jan. 2020 Compare this to the limited jail experience of onetime Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Cash Bail Was Never About Safety," 10 Jan. 2020 Dyson’s tax would raise money to bolster the criminal justice system, from more cops to more jail and prison beds. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage Assembly members pitch residents on new taxes," 10 Jan. 2020 Appearing in court wearing a green jail jumpsuit with his hands and feet in shackles, Gibson also received an additional ten-year prison sentence for shooting his wife of 23 years in the back of the head. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Katy love-triangle killer pleads guilty, sentenced to 16 years in prison," 10 Jan. 2020 Chrisman made her initial appearance Wednesday by video from Chesapeake jail. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Newborn Found Frozen to Death with Umbilical Cord Attached — and 17 Years Later, Woman Is Charged," 10 Jan. 2020 Lamb is in the Deschutes County Jail on $50,000 bail, according to the jail's website. Dakin Andone, CNN, "An Oregon man faces hate crimes charges after allegedly beating a woman from India," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, was arrested by Japanese authorities in Tokyo late last year and was jailed four times since November. CBS News, "Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn shows up in Lebanon," 30 Dec. 2019 He was arrested on Dec. 14 and jailed without bond. Fox News, "Colorado man, an accused pedophile, dies after found unresponsive in jail cell, authorities say," 28 Dec. 2019 One suspect, accused of shooting another man during an argument inside the mall, has been arrested and jailed on $500,000 bond after surrendering to police. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Mall shootings plague US days before Christmas," 23 Dec. 2019 Donnie Leung Tat was arrested and jailed for disorderly conduct, a second-degree misdemeanor, only to have the charge dismissed. Larry Barszewski, sun-sentinel.com, "Disorderly conduct arrest costs Sheriff’s Office nearly $300,000," 12 Dec. 2019 Erhabor, who was arrested and jailed Wednesday in Collin County, Texas, was unable to be reached. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Former Bethel University football player accused of sexually assaulting three students," 4 Dec. 2019 The theft suspect who took the ID was arrested and jailed, police said, and Amanda and her ID will soon be reunited. Emily Goodykoontz | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Amanda wasn’t about to be fooled by a text scam. But this time, it really was a Portland police officer.," 2 Dec. 2019 They were all arrested, jailed, and charged with conspiracy, destruction of government property, depredation of a naval installation, and trespassing. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "The Pope and Catholic Radicals Come Together Against Nuclear Weapons," 19 Nov. 2019 Two Florida men were arrested and jailed after one of them caught an alligator and the other poured beer into its mouth and encouraged the reptile to bite him, wildlife officials said, according to news reports. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida man pours beer into alligator’s mouth, encourages it to bite him, officials say," 8 Oct. 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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jail.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jails. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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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