synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of jail in English

English Online Dictionary. What means jail‎? What does jail mean?

  • gaol (UK, Australia, Ireland, dated)

From Middle English gayole, gaylle, gaille, gayle, gaile, via Old French gaiole, gayolle, gaole, from Medieval Latin gabiola, for Late Latin caveola, a diminutive of Latin cavea (cavity, coop, cage). Doublet of caveola and related to cage. More at cajole.

  • IPA(key): /d͡ʒeɪ(ə)l/
  • Rhymes: -eɪl

jail (countable and uncountable, plural jails)

  1. A place or institution for the confinement of persons held against their will in lawful custody or detention, especially (in US usage) a place where people are held for minor offenses or with reference to some future judicial proceeding.
    Synonyms: slammer, hoosegow
    Hypernyms: correctional facility, correctional institution
    Coordinate terms: big house, prison
  2. (uncountable) Confinement in a jail.
  3. (horse racing, uncountable) The condition created by the requirement that a horse claimed in a claiming race not be run at another track for some period of time (usually 30 days).
  4. In dodgeball and related games, the area where players who have been struck by the ball are confined.
  5. (computing, FreeBSD, usually uncountable) A kind of sandbox for running a guest operating system instance.
  • (place of confinement): Like many nouns denoting places where people spend time, jail requires no article after certain prepositions: hence in jail (detained in a jail), go to jail (become detained in a jail), and so on. The forms in a jail, go to a jail, and so on do exist, but tend to imply mere presence in the jail, rather than detention there. Compare also in the hoosegow/slammer.
  • Until the boardgame Monopoly popularised the spelling jail in the UK and Australia, gaol was the standard spelling in these countries.
  • In the United States, reference works sometimes draw a distinction between jails and prisons, saying that jails are for housing people before trial and prisons are for serving sentences, or that jails are run locally and prisons are run by states or the federal government. In popular speech this distinction is often not followed; and sentences are in fact served in some county jails (so the distinction is not rigorously upheld). In other parts of the English-speaking world, the two terms are often synonymous. The distinction between jail and lockup is not rigorous in American English; differentiation (if any) depends on locale, although the distinction between a police station and a county jail usually figures into it. A penitentiary is solely a place for serving sentences (a prison, not a jail).
  • Hindustani:
    • Hindi: जेल (jel)
    • Urdu: جیل (jel)
  • Punjabi: ਜੇਲ੍ਹ (jelh)
  • Welsh: jêl, jael

jail (third-person singular simple present jails, present participle jailing, simple past and past participle jailed)

  1. To imprison.
  • imprison
  • incarcerate
  • “jail”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • jali

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.