Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British Variant of jail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Preferred alternative spelling of jail.
  • n. Alternative spelling of jail.
  • v. To confine in a gaol; to imprison

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place of confinement, especially for minor offenses or provisional imprisonment; a jail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Obsolescent spellings of jail, jailer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
  • n. 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)

Etymologies

From Middle English gayole, gaylle, gaille, gayle, gaile, via Old French gaiole, gayolle, gaole, from Medieval Latin gabiola, for *caveola, a diminutive of Latin cavea ("cavity, coop, cage"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Fat lady singing in gaol? I'm guessing it's "Il Trovatore"!

    In yon gloomy tow-ow-er
    Stern Death now is Caw-aw-ling ....

    Home to our mou-hount-ains
    let us ret-uh--huh-urn
    There in my you-ung days...

    Of thee-ee, I'ill thi-ink o-of thee, love,
    Yes I-i wi-ill thi-ink o-of thee, love,
    I'll think of thee, love
    I'll think of thee, love....

    April 26, 2008

  • Such a shame. gaol is a much better word than jail.

    April 26, 2008

  • The Fat Lady is singing.

    April 26, 2008

  • I do believe that "gaol" has lost the war against "jail" in the Australian media.

    April 26, 2008