from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Obsolescent spellings of jail, jailer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A place of confinement, especially for minor offenses or provisional imprisonment; a jail.
  • noun [Eng.] an authority conferred upon judges and others included in it, for trying and delivering every prisoner in jail when the judges, upon their circuit, arrive at the place for holding court, and for discharging any whom the grand jury fail to indict.
  • noun (Law) See Jail delivery, under Jail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Australia, Ireland Preferred alternative spelling of jail.
  • noun UK Alternative spelling of jail.
  • verb UK To confine in a gaol; to imprison

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

  • verb lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
  • 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)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").



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

    April 26, 2008

  • The Fat Lady is singing.

    April 26, 2008

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

    April 26, 2008

  • 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