jail

A jail is a place where people are confined while they're being punished for a crime. If you end up getting a mug shot and put behind bars, chances are you are In jail.

To arrest someone and put them in a jail cell is to jail them. Jail prisoners are often simply waiting for their trials — they've been charged with a crime, but they haven't yet been found to be guilty (or innocent). Jail was originally spelled gayhol, and in Britain it's also spelled gaol. This can be traced back to the Medieval Latin gabiola, from Late Latin caveola and the Latin cavea, "cage or enclosure."

Definitions of jail
  1. noun
    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)
    synonyms: clink, gaol, jailhouse, pokey, poky, slammer
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    types:
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    bastille
    a jail or prison (especially one that is run in a tyrannical manner)
    holding cell
    a jail in a courthouse where accused persons can be confined during a trial
    hoosegow, hoosgow
    slang for a jail
    house of correction
    (formerly) a jail or other place of detention for persons convicted of minor offences
    lockup
    jail in a local police station
    workhouse
    a county jail that holds prisoners for periods up to 18 months
    type of:
    correctional institution
    a penal institution maintained by the government
  2. verb
    lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
    synonyms: gaol, immure, imprison, incarcerate, jug, lag, put away, put behind bars, remand
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    type of:
    confine, detain
    deprive of freedom; take into confinement
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