from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of disposing judicially of the cases of all accused persons detained in a prison and awaiting trial.
  • n. In English law, the short name of the commission issued to judges of assize, directing them to clear a jail by thus trying, and acquitting or condemning, the inmates.
  • n. Hence In England, and also in Delaware (U. S.), the court charged with the trial of ordinary criminal cases. See assize, 6.
  • n. The act of setting prisoners loose from a jail; a freeing of imprisoned persons, as by breaking into or out of a jail.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • On the other hand, it was held that a simultaneous jail-delivery all over the land would have immense psychological influence on the proletariat.

    Chapter 18: The Shadow of Sonoma

  • Ratcliffe, among other escapes from justice, was released by the Porteous mob when under sentence of death; and he was again under the same predicament, when the Highlanders made a similar jail-delivery in 1745.

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian

  • At the next jail-delivery he was tried, and the jury did their duty.

    Mary Anerley

  • The duke not thinking himself so successful as he at first imagined he should be, greatly augmented his forces; ordered the bands of ruffians, belonging to the monks, should join him; and commanded, that a general jail-delivery should take place, provided the persons released would bear arms, and form themselves into light companies, to assist in the extermination of the Waldenses.

    Fox's Book of Martyrs Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs

  • He was again imprisoned for _incivisme_, during the Reign of Terror, and did not recover his liberty until the general jail-delivery which followed the death of Robespierre.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 31, May, 1860

  • The resident judge holds civil courts as in England during the several terms, and criminal courts of general jail-delivery every month.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844

  • It's good we caught them in time or they'd of been a hell of a big jail-delivery

    Tramping on Life An Autobiographical Narrative

  • Miss Murdstone made a jail-delivery of her pocket-handkerchief, and held it before her eyes.

    IV. I Fall Into Disgrace

  • "I've been through b'iler explosions and snowslides, not to mention a triflin 'jail-delivery, but fer real sprightly diversions I don't recall nothin' more pleasin 'than this."

    The Spoilers

  • Sal herself stood watching the jail-delivery; and first of all she blinked a bit, after the darkness below, and next she let out a laugh, and then she reached up a hand and began unplaiting her pigtail.

    News from the Duchy


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