Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- gaol (UK, Australia, Ireland)
From Middle English gayole, gaylle, gaille, gayle, gaile, via Old French gaiole, gayolle, gaole, from Medieval Latin gabiola, for Vulgar Latin *caveola, a diminutive of Latin cavea (“cavity, coop, cage”). See also cage.
- A place or institution for the confinement of persons held in lawful custody or detention, especially for minor offenses or with reference to some future judicial proceeding.
1966, Robert Coover, “Part II, section 11”, in The Origin of the Brunists, first edition, page 218:
- Taking a shower at the high school, Tommy (the Kitten) Cavanaugh kids Ugly Palmers. "Ugly, if you think the world is coming to an end," he says, "what are you wasting your time here at this jail for? You gonna need American history up there?"
- (uncountable) Confinement in a jail.
2011 December 14, Steven Morris, “Devon woman jailed for 168 days for killing kitten in microwave”, in Guardian:
- He said Robins had not been in trouble with the law before and had no previous convictions. Jail would have an adverse effect on her and her three children as she was the main carer.
- (horse racing) The condition created by the requirement that a horse claimed in a claiming race not be run at another track for some period of time (usually 30 days).
- In dodgeball and related games, the area where players who have been struck by the ball are confined.
- (place of confinement): Like many nouns denoting places where people spend time, jail requires no article after certain prepositions: hence in jail (“detained in a jail”), go to jail (“become detained in a jail”), and so on. The forms in a jail, go to a jail, and so on do exist, but tend to imply mere presence in the jail, rather than detention there.
- Until Monopoly popularised the spelling jail in the UK and Australia, gaol was the standard spelling in these countries.
Terms derived from jail
place for short-term confinement for those convicted of minor offenses or with reference to some future judicial proceeding
- To imprison.
imprison — see imprison