Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “jail”


noun [C or U] (UK old-fashioned gaol)     /dʒeɪl/
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 .Prisons and parts of prisons
(Definition of jail noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of jail

Definitions of “jail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More