A jailbird is someone who's been in prison or is still there. Your parents might refer to your disgraced car thief cousin a jailbird.

Jailbird is a casual and derogatory term for a convicted criminal, especially one who's been in and out of jail several times. Following a prison escape, a local newspaper's headline might read "Jailbird on the Loose!" Jailbird, coined in the 17th century, equates the image of a bird in a cage with a prisoner in jail.

Definitions of jailbird
  1. noun
    a criminal who has been jailed repeatedly
    synonyms: gaolbird, jail bird
    see moresee less
    type of:
    criminal, crook, felon, malefactor, outlaw
    someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime
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