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

  • noun Chiefly Brit. a person serving a prison sentence; a jail bird.

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

  • noun Alternative spelling of jailbird.

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

  • noun a criminal who has been jailed repeatedly


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I remember the reporting of the "gaolbird" case in "Chess" (Sutton Coldfield, sufficient address).

    The Friends Institute, Birmingham, and some chess and political memories

  • In a letter to a Mr Golding, Mr Wood had indicated that if Mr Morry was in the new Welsh Chess Union, Mr Wood was out; he referred to Mr Morry as “this ex-gaolbird”.

    The Friends Institute, Birmingham, and some chess and political memories

  • It is just the same with the passengers: here is a gaolbird accommodated with a seat next the captain and treated with reverence, there a debauchee or parricide or temple-robber in honourable possession of the best place, while crowds of respectable people are packed together in a corner and hustled by their real inferiors.

    Works of Lucian of Samosata — Volume 03

  • 'Tis a runaway gaolbird by the look of him for whom we have no sort of use here.

    The Fool Errant

  • François of Corbeuil, Count of Montcorbier, stood in a very different relation to the Lady Katherine from that of the lowly poet and gaolbird who had rhymed and sighed and battled in the Fircone

    If I Were King


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