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1. A place of detention, especially for persons who are accused of committing a crime and have not been released on bail or for persons who are serving short sentences after conviction of a misdemeanor.
2. Detention in a jail.
tr.v. jailed, jail·ing, jails
To detain in a jail.

[From Middle English jaiole (from Old French) and from Middle English gaiol, gaol (from Old North French gaiole), both from Vulgar Latin *gaviola, from Latin *caveola, diminutive of cavea, cage, hollow.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.