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late 13c., gayhol, from Old North French gaiole and Old French jaole, both meaning "a cage, prison," from Medieval Latin gabiola, from Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea "cage, enclosure, stall, coop" (see cave (n.)). Both forms carried into Middle English; now pronounced "jail" however it is spelled. Persistence of Norman-derived gaol (preferred in Britain) is "chiefly due to statutory and official tradition" [OED].
"to put in jail," c.1600, from jail (n.). Related: Jailed; jailing.
To live tolerably in jail; survive imprisonment: Roy taught me how to jail (1980s+)