- The definition of a jail is a place where people are held for trail, or where people who've been convicted of a crime serve out a sentence.
An example of a jail is San Quentin Prison.
- Jail is defined as to put someone into a place that they can't get out of.
An example of jail is to put someone in a holding cell after they've committed a crime.
An empty jail cell.
- a building for the confinement of people who are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of minor offenses
Origin of jailMiddle English jaile, gaile ; from Old French jaole, gaole, a cage, prison ; from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Classical Latin cavea, cage
- A place of detention, especially for persons who are accused of committing a crime and have not been released on bail or for persons who are serving short sentences after conviction of a misdemeanor.
- Detention in a jail.
transitive verbjailed, jail·ing, jails
Origin of jailFrom Middle English jaiole (from Old French) and from Middle English gaiol, gaol (from Old North French gaiole), both from Vulgar Latin *gaviola, from Latin *caveola, diminutive of cavea, cage, hollow.
(countable and uncountable, plural jails)
- A place for the confinement of persons held in lawful custody or detention, especially for minor offenses or with reference to some future judicial proceeding.
- (uncountable) Confinement in a jail.
- (horse racing) 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.
- (prison): 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.
- Until Monopoly popularised the spelling jail in the UK and Australia, gaol was the standard spelling in these countries.
(third-person singular simple present jails, present participle jailing, simple past and past participle jailed)
- To imprison.
jail - Legal Definition