Definitions

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

  • n. Informal A prisoner or an ex-convict.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A prisoner or an ex-prisoner

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A prisoner; one is in prison or who has been confined in prison.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who has been or is confined in jail; a malefactor.

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

  • n. a criminal who has been jailed repeatedly
  • n. a criminal who has been jailed repeatedly

Etymologies

jail +‎ bird, circa 1600. Compare gallows bird. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To make the idea of jailbird-as-thespian even worse, I can tell you as someone who lives here that there is no possible way this does not turn into a media circus.

    Michael Conniff: Con Games: Aspen Jail Just a Stage for Charlie Sheen

  • Chester, now about thirty years old, had been pardoned because of late evidence in his favour, when a five - year term for burglary was but one quarter served, but in his old father's eyes a jailbird was a jailbird, and Chester was still in some mysterious way to blame.

    The Story of Julia Page

  • Judge Carrie Ann Inaba tells E! that the jailbird is her first choice for the next season.

    From Inside the Box

  • That man this evening, when he called me 'jailbird' -- "

    Sheila of Big Wreck Cove A Story of Cape Cod

  • The boy cocked one eye at him -- he knew that Jurgis was a "jailbird" by his shaven head.

    The Jungle

  • Not so long as storyliners have to come up with a way to reintroduce Tracey 'jailbird' Barlow.

    The Daily Record - Home

  • (How far can he get without a license or credit cards .. or the help of close relations?) opened with testimony from the "jailbird" and his arresting officers

    Baltimore Crime

  • Minimum bail for each participant "jailbird" is set at $10 with $1 from every $10 collected being donated to the Simon Youth Foundation.

    News from www.thesunchronicle.com

  • "jailbird"; that girl whom Tunis Latham had befriended, had rescued from a situation which she could not think of now without a feeling of creeping horror.

    Sheila of Big Wreck Cove A Story of Cape Cod

  • He's also more than happy to share his sordid past as a one-time crack addict and jailbird who became a single father on welfare -- before turning his life around and becoming a New York Times star.

    Marshall Fine: HuffPost Review: Page One -- Inside the New York Times

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