Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “jail”

jail

noun [C or U] uk (UK old-fashioned gaol)   /dʒeɪl/ us  
B1 a place where criminals are kept to punish them for their crimes, or where people accused of crimes are kept while waiting for their trials: the country's overcrowded jails a 13-year jail sentence/term The financier was released from jail last week. They spent ten years in jail for fraud.

jail

verb [T often passive] uk (UK old-fashioned gaol)   /dʒeɪl/ us  
to put someone in a jail: He was jailed for three years.
(Definition of jail from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of jail?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “jail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

wave

to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone, telling someone to do something, or adding emphasis to an expression

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More