English Online Dictionary. What means jail? What does jail mean?
- gaol (British, 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)
- 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
- (uncountable) Confinement in a jail.
- (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).
- In dodgeball and related games, the area where players who have been struck by the ball are confined.
- (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 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. In other parts of the English-speaking world, the two terms are often synonymous.
- → 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)
- To imprison.
- “jail”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.