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English

Alternative spellings

  • gaol (British, Australian)

Etymology

From Middle English jaiole, jayle, jaile, jayll, via Old French jaiole, jaole, jeole, geole < Medieval Latin gabiola, for *caveola, a diminutive of Latin cavea (cavity, coop, cage).

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -eɪl

Noun

Singular
Jail

Plural
jails

Jail (jails)
  1. A prison; a place of detention; a place where a person convicted or suspected of a crime is detained.
  2. Template:Rfex (uncountable) Confinement in a jail.
  3. (slang) school
    I have to go to jail for 5 days per week.
  4. (horse racing) The requirements that a horse claimed in a claiming race not be run at another track for (usually) 30 days.

Usage notes

  • (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.

Synonyms

  • big house
  • hoosegow
  • prison
  • slammer

Derived terms

  • jailbait
  • jailbird
  • jailbreak
  • jailer
  • jail sentence

Translations

Verb

Infinitive
to Jail

Third person singular
-

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

to Jail (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. To imprison.

Synonyms

Translations

de:jail et:jail el:jail es:jail fr:jail ko:jail hy:jail io:jail it:jail kn:jail kk:jail sw:jail ku:jail hu:jail ml:jail my:jail oc:jail pl:jail ru:jail simple:jail fi:jail sv:jail ta:jail te:jail tr:jail vi:jail zh:jail

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