Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “jail”

See all translations

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. They don't throw anyone in jail for parking illegally, but they will tow your car and charge you a fine.
More examples

jail

verb [T often passive] uk ( UK old-fashioned gaol)   /dʒeɪl/ us  
to put someone in a jail: He was jailed for three years.
More examples
Translations of “jail”
in Korean 감옥…
in Arabic سِجْن…
in French prison…
in Turkish hapishane, cezaevi…
in Italian carcere, galera…
in Chinese (Traditional) 監獄, 看守所…
in Russian тюрьма…
in Polish więzienie…
in Spanish cárcel, prisión…
in Portuguese prisão, cadeia…
in German das Gefängnis…
in Catalan presó…
in Japanese 拘置所…
in Chinese (Simplified) 监狱, 看守所…
(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

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More