Definition of jail
- gaol (British, Australian)
From Middle English jaiole < Late Latin caveola < Latin cavea
jail (countable and uncountable; plural jails)
- A prison; a place of detention; a place where a person convicted or suspected of a crime is detained.
- (uncountable) Confinement in a jail.
- (slang) school
I have to go to jail for 5 days per week.
- (horse racing) The requirements that a horse claimed in a claiming race not be run at another track for (usually) 30 days.
- (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.
- big house
- jail sentence
to jail (third-person singular simple present jails, present participle jailing, simple past and past participle jailed)
- To imprison.
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