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bail1

[beyl] /beɪl/
noun
1.
property or money given as surety that a person released from custody will return at an appointed time.
2.
the person who agrees to be liable if someone released from custody does not return at an appointed time.
3.
the state of release upon being bailed.
4.
on bail, released or free as a result of having posted bond:
He was out on bail within 10 hours of his arrest.
verb (used with object)
5.
to grant or obtain the liberty of (a person under arrest) on security given for his or her appearance when required, as in court for trial.
6.
to deliver possession of (goods) for storage, hire, or other special purpose, without transfer of ownership.
Idioms
7.
go / stand bail for, to provide bail for:
They spent the night in jail because no one would stand bail for them.
8.
jump bail, to abscond while free on bail:
The suspect jumped bail and is now being sought.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English bayle < Anglo-French bail custody, charge < Old French, noun derivative of baillier to hand over < Latin bāiulāre to serve as porter verbal derivative of bāiulus porter, perhaps an Imperial Latin borrowing from Moesia < *ba(r)i̯- carry (akin to Albanian m-ba hold) < *bhor-i̯-; see bear1

bail2

[beyl] /beɪl/
noun
1.
the semicircular handle of a kettle or pail.
2.
a hooplike support, as for the canvas cover on a Conestoga wagon.
3.
a metal band or bar equipped with rollers for holding a sheet or sheets of paper against the platen of a printing press, typewriter, etc.
Also, bale.
Origin
1400-50; late Middle English beyl, perhaps < Old Norse; compare Old Norse beyglast to become bent, equivalent to baug(r) ring (see bee2) + *-il noun suffix + -ast middle infinitive suffix

bail3

[beyl] /beɪl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to dip (water) out of a boat, as with a bucket.
2.
to clear of water by dipping (usually followed by out):
to bail out a boat.
verb (used without object)
3.
to bail water.
noun
4.
Also, bailer. a bucket, dipper, or other container used for bailing.
Verb phrases
5.
bail out,
  1. to make a parachute jump from an airplane.
  2. to relieve or assist (a person, company, etc.) in an emergency situation, especially a financial crisis:
    The corporation bailed out its failing subsidiary through a series of refinancing operations.
  3. to give up on or abandon something, as to evade a responsibility:
    His partner bailed out before the business failed.
Also, bale (for defs 1–3).
Origin
1425-75; late Middle English bayle < Middle French baille a bucket < Vulgar Latin *bāi(u)la; akin to Latin bāiulus carrier. See bail1

bail4

[beyl] /beɪl/
noun
1.
Cricket. either of the two small bars or sticks laid across the tops of the stumps which form the wicket.
2.
British, Australian. a bar, framework, partition, or the like, for confining or separating cows, horses, etc., in a stable.
3.
bails, Obsolete. the wall of an outer court of a feudal castle.
Verb phrases
4.
bail up, Australian.
  1. to confine a cow for milking, as in a bail.
  2. to force (one) to surrender or identify oneself or to state one's business.
  3. to waylay or rob (someone).
Idioms
5.
bail up!, Australian. (the cry of challenge of a pioneer or person living in the bush.)
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English baile < Old French < Latin bacula, plural of baculum stick
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bail
  • Remember if a product doesn't make money our government doesn't bail it out so it goes under.
  • The suspects were released on bail pending further investigations.
  • Treasury should be immediately apply this adhesive to all currency printed to bail out the finance industry.
  • Fewer fights means fewer planes dropping bombs to bail out troops under fire, so the logic goes.
  • Durable swing-out handles that will not melt, and folding bail handles that lock into place to prevent accidental spilling.
  • WE have spent trillions on bail outs and stimulus checks.
  • And don't look to technology to bail out coal miners.
  • The scientist you don't believe now will bail us out in the future.
  • Thus, the optimum strategy would be to bail out a few credits short of graduation in order to pay the loans off.
  • Everyone was crowded around one orangutan who was hiding under a bail of hay.
British Dictionary definitions for bail

bail1

/beɪl/
noun
1.
a sum of money by which a person is bound to take responsibility for the appearance in court of another person or himself or herself, forfeited if the person fails to appear
2.
the person or persons so binding themselves; surety
3.
the system permitting release of a person from custody where such security has been taken he was released on bail
4.
jump bail, (formal) forfeit bail, to fail to appear in court to answer to a charge
5.
stand bail, go bail, to act as surety (for someone)
verb (transitive)
6.
(often foll by out) to release or obtain the release of (a person) from custody, security having been made
See also bail out
Word Origin
C14: from Old French: custody, from baillier to hand over, from Latin bāiulāre to carry burdens, from bāiulus carrier, of obscure origin

bail2

/beɪl/
verb
1.
(often foll by out) to remove (water) from (a boat)
Derived Forms
bailer, baler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French baille bucket, from Latin bāiulus carrier

bail3

/beɪl/
noun
1.
(cricket) either of two small wooden bars placed across the tops of the stumps to form the wicket
2.
(agriculture)
  1. a partition between stalls in a stable or barn, for horses
  2. a portable dairy house built on wheels or skids
3.
(Austral & NZ) a framework in a cowshed used to secure the head of a cow during milking
verb
4.
See bail up
Word Origin
C18: from Old French baile stake, fortification, probably from Latin baculum stick

bail4

/beɪl/
noun
1.
the semicircular handle of a kettle, bucket, etc
2.
a semicircular support for a canopy
3.
a movable bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen
Word Origin
C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse beygja to bend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bail
n.

"bond money," late 15c., a sense that apparently developed from that of "temporary release from jail" (into the custody of another, who gives security), recorded from early 15c. That evolved from earlier meaning "captivity, custody" (early 14c.). From Old French baillier "to control, to guard, deliver" (12c.), from Latin bajulare "to bear a burden," from bajulus "porter," of unknown origin. In late 18c. criminal slang, to give leg bail meant "to run away."

"horizontal piece of wood in a cricket wicket," c.1742, originally "any cross bar" (1570s), probably identical with Middle French bail "horizontal piece of wood affixed on two stakes," and with English bail "palisade wall, outer wall of a castle" (see bailey).

v.

"to dip water out of," 1610s, from baile (n.) "small wooden bucket" (mid-14c.), from nautical Old French baille "bucket, pail," from Medieval Latin *bajula (aquae), literally "porter of water," from Latin bajulare "to bear a burden" (see bail (n.1)). To bail out "leave suddenly" (intransitive) is recorded from 1930, originally of airplane pilots. Related: Bailed; bailing.

"to procure someone's release from prison" (by posting bail), 1580s, from bail (n.1); usually with out. Related: Bailed; bailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bail

bail

verb

To leave; cut out, split: Bruce has bailed from the scene entirely/ Most of my friends had bailed to stay with other relatives

Related Terms

jump bail

[1970s+ college students; fr bail out]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with bail
In addition to the idiom beginning with
bail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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