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 such a tragedy that man endures in killing his brother and his own kind, putting him in jail and insane asylums, letting him lay out in the street.

-- Sun Ra ( Musician)

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

-- Brian Baird (American Politician)

Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.

-- John Donne (British Poet)

We're rapidly approaching a world comprised entirely of jail and shopping.

-- Doug Coupland (Canadian Author)

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

-- Dashiell Hammett (American Author)

Jail is much easier on people who have nothing.

-- Bernhard Goetz (American -)

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)

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)

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)

All of North Korea is a jail.

-- Kim Y. Sam ( -)

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)

I dropped the script in the fireplace, called my agent and said, they can jail me, sue me, but I'm never acting again, unless I can do something worthwhile.

-- Piper Laurie (American Actress)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

If - you know, it seems to me that if we see Matt Cooper being carted off to jail today, a lot of people may find that, you know, a very upsetting thing.

-- Michael Isikoff (American Journalist)

The beauty, the poetry of the fear in their eyes. I didn't mind going to jail for, what, five, six hours? It was absolutely worth it.

-- Johnny Depp ( Actor)

The letters from jail are always disconcerting.

-- Eliza Dushku (American Actress)

If it's illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail!

-- Kurt Cobain (American Musician)

The story follows the whole family. But pretty much all the characters who are in jail have written a book about it, so you've got their perspective of it, however skewed they want you to see it.

-- Marguerite Moreau (American Actress)

Through everything I've gone through- and I've been everywhere, at the top of the world, in jail, hung over drunk - I never gave up my dream of winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

-- Dan O'Brien (American Athlete)

I'm sorry I didn't go to jail for six months, then I know you could come to see me anytime you wanted to.

-- Eddie Slovik (American Soldier)

I know a lot of reporters certainly will go to jail to defend confidential sources. Some have even gone to jail for an issue like this. But I can't say that's the norm.

-- Floyd Abrams (American Lawyer)

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail.

-- Alfred Whitney Griswold (American Educator)

If a slave is unwilling to go with his new master, he is whipped, or locked up in jail, until he consents to go, and promises not to run away during the year.

-- Harriet Ann Jacobs (American Writer)

My occupation now, I suppose, is jail inmate.

-- Theodore Kaczynski (American Criminal)

There's no happy ending to cocaine. You either die, you go to jail, or else you run out.

-- Sam Kinison (American Comedian)

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

-- Danny Sugerman (American Musician)

I just put myself in a hotel and was smoking coke for a while. Then I met up with the wrong people. I ended up getting in a hassle. I had to call the police and get myself arrested or get attacked, ripped off and got to jail. So I called the cops on them and myself.

-- Marc Wallice (American Actor)

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

-- Tupac Shakur (American Musician)

Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That's why so many of them are in jail.

-- Don DeLillo (American Novelist)

It is crazy to have Judith Miller in jail.

-- Matthew Cooper (American Journalist)


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