Definitions for: Jail


[n] a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence)
[v] lock up or confine, in or as in a jail; "The suspects were imprisoned without trial"; "the murderer was incarcerated for the rest of his life"



Webster (1913) Definition: Jail, n. [OE. jaile, gail, gayhol, OF. gaole, gaiole,
jaiole, F. ge[^o]le, LL. gabiola, dim. of gabia cage, for L.
cavea cavity, cage. See Cage.]
A kind of prison; a building for the confinement of persons
held in lawful custody, especially for minor offenses or with
reference to some future judicial proceeding. [Written also
gaol.]

This jail I count the house of liberty. --Milton.

Jail bird, a prisoner; one who has been confined in prison.
[Slang]

Jail delivery, the release of prisoners from jail, either
legally or by violence.

Jail delivery commission. See under Gaol.

Jail fever (Med.), typhus fever, or a disease resembling
it, generated in jails and other places crowded with
people; -- called also hospital fever, and ship fever.


Jail liberties, or Jail limits, a space or district
around a jail within which an imprisoned debtor was, on
certain conditions, allowed to go at large. --Abbott.

Jail lock, a peculiar form of padlock; -- called also
Scandinavian lock.


Jail, v. t.
To imprison. [R.] --T. Adams (1614).

[Bolts] that jail you from free life. --Tennyson.

Synonyms: clink, gaol, gaol, immure, imprison, incarcerate, jailhouse, jug, lag, put away, put behind bars, remand, slammer

See Also: bastille, confine, correctional institution, detain, holding cell, hoosegow, hoosgow, house of correction, lockup, pokey, workhouse

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Famous Quotes Containing Jail:


It's not that I don't want to become famous or that I'm obsessed by my work as an actress, but it's all about not limiting myself, such as putting myself in a little jail that I can escape from.

-- Sarah Polley (Canadian Actress)

Forty years ago, we were on the tail of the Front Page era. There was a different point of view. Reporters and editors were more forgiving of public people. They didn't think they had to stick someone in jail to make a career.

-- Mike Royko (American Writer)

God doesn't go to jail for the pound of weed you got caught going over the Laredo with - even though he apparently has the knowledge, power, and care to prevent it - you go to jail. God passes go and the courts collect two hundred dollars.

-- Stephen Evans ( -)

Men who are in prison for rape think it's the dumbest thing that ever happened... they were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught. It may also be true.

-- Catharine MacKinnon (American Activist)

I was going to go make a film in Greece. if they caught you with this much marijuana, they threw you in jail, no questions asked, and I was trying to stuff it in my deodorant bottles. I thought, what I am doing?

-- Dyan Cannon (American Actress)

The question at the end of the day was, the courts having found there was no defense, a producer about to go to jail, should CBS in effect tell the producer go to jail even though there is no law at all that we can use to get you out of jail?

-- Floyd Abrams (American Lawyer)

I'd like to do things to make money to save myself but right now I can't do nothing. If they want to put me in jail, they can do that. It's kind of tough.

-- Manute Bol ( Athlete)

I think I'd make a better president than George Bush. I'll tell you what, George Bush and Dick Cheney have been to jail more times than I have, and I used to shoot heroin, now what does that tell you?

-- Dave Mustaine (American Musician)

What was really horrifying about jail is that it really isn't horrifying. You adjust very easily.

-- Roberta Victor ( -)

What I learned in jail is that I can't change. I can't live a different lifestyle-this is it. This is the life that they gave and this is the life that I made.

-- Tupac Shakur (American Musician)

We'll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.

-- Dave Barry (American Journalist)

Addiction should never be treated as a crime. It has to be treated as a health problem. We do not send alcoholics to jail in this country. Over 500,000 people are in our jails who are nonviolent drug users.

-- Ralph Nader (American Lawyer)

To put someone in jail for using drugs in the privacy of his hotel room is just barbaric.

-- Danny Sugerman (American Musician)

So what really works? Treatments in jail do some good, but it's mostly too late: finding a family and a job or just growing older make most prisoners eventually give up crime.

-- Polly Toynbee (English Journalist)

I don't have to talk about whether or not I got raped in jail.

-- Tupac Shakur (American Musician)

With random urinalysis, there's a clear choice - either get high or go to jail.

-- Brian Baird (American Politician)

It is unconscionable that 10,000 boys have died in Vietnam. If 10,000 American women had mind enough they could end the war, if they were committed to the task, even if it meant going to jail.

-- Jeanette Rankin (American Politician)

If you can manipulate news, a judge can manipulate the law. A smart lawyer can keep a killer out of jail, a smart accountant can keep a thief from paying taxes, a smart reporter could ruin your reputation- unfairly.

-- Mario Cuomo (American Politician)

It costs $30,000 to $50,000 per year to send someone to jail. You don't have to pay so much to send someone to school at Johns Hopkins.

-- John Money (New Zealander Psychologist)

They would almost throw the cops in jail when they tried to arrest me.

-- Lawrence Taylor ( Athlete)

In this country, don't forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There's no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country it's the worst kind of hell for those who love you.

-- Billie Holiday (American Musician)

It's awfully easy to be in love in jail.

-- Dashiell Hammett (American Author)

Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence.

-- Howard Dean (American Politician)

I used to help my granddaddy make sausage. He would mix it up in a cleaned-out washtub with his hands, no gloves. Man, if we did anything like that today, they would jack the jail up and throw us under it.

-- Jimmy Dean (American Actor)

You see, you can't put joblessness in a jail cell.

-- Carrie P. Meek (American Politician)

The vice president had a bargaining asset, however, that no ordinary person has: He was next in line to the presidency. I saw no chance that he would resign first, then take his chances on trial, conviction, and jail.

-- Elliot Richardson (American Lawyer)

I was kind of excited about going to jail the first time and I learnt some great dialogue.

-- Quentin Tarantino (American Director)

My skin is more beautiful than yours. I would be quite more popular in jail if I so chose.

-- Gene Simmons (American Musician)

We had all these things to deal with- houses full of people and John going to jail, guys from New York saying 'don't worry about anything.' So it was really confusing.

-- Michael Davis ( -)

There's a pattern when tours start - a pattern of infighting, of making up, of breaking up, of addiction. There's a pattern of going to jail. There's a pattern of passion for music.

-- Nikki Sixx (American Musician)

It would be like the films I've seen where wardens would decide to be in a jail cell for a week, to get a sense of what it would be like to be a prisoner.

-- Gregory Hines (American Actor)

When I was in jail, I was a lot of people's favorite person. I practically ran the jail. I had more freedom than the police.

-- Flavor Flav (American Musician)

The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.

-- H. L. Mencken (American Writer)

Am I a criminal? The world knows I'm not a criminal. What are they trying to put me in jail for? You've lost common sense in this society because of religious fanaticism and dogma.

-- Jack Kevorkian (American Activist)


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