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or jailor

[jey-ler] /ˈdʒeɪ lər/
a person who is in charge of a jail or section of a jail.
a person who forcibly confines another.
Origin of jailer
1250-1300; Middle English gaioler, jaioler, jailer < Old French jaiolier. See jail, -er2
Related forms
underjailer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for jailor
Historical Examples
  • His answers were so truthful and accurate that they served to blind the jailor still further.

  • The jailor was making a feeble pretense of protecting his prisoners.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • It was evident that he understood the desires of his jailor, and equally plain that he had resolved to disregard them.

    Calavar Robert Montgomery Bird
  • One morning, shortly after sunrise, Mark was awakened by the entrance of their jailor.

    The Fugitives R.M. Ballantyne
  • At eight o'clock the jailor unlocked the prison door to let me out, and I gave the parting hand to the prisoner of hope.

    Leaves from My Journal Wilford Woodruff
  • The jailor decided that he could safely postpone his visit to Fandor's cell.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • With such precautions, a jailor might depend on the safe keeping of his charge, but yet we overcame it all.

  • But Mombi was still my grandfather's jailor, and afterward my father's jailor.

  • If you take him prisoner, he will escape: no judge in the island dare convict him, no jailor would dare keep his door shut.

    Out with Garibaldi G. A. Henty
  • The jailor, Swims, was a character, and merits a particular description.

    Daring and Suffering: William Pittenger
British Dictionary definitions for jailor


a person in charge of prisoners in a jail
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 jailor



also gaoler, late 14c., from Old North French gayolierre, Old French jaioleur, agent noun from jaole (see jail (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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jailor in the Bible

(of Philippi), Acts 16:23. The conversion of the Roman jailer, a man belonging to a class "insensible as a rule and hardened by habit, and also disposed to despise the Jews, who were the bearers of the message of the gospel," is one of those cases which illustrate its universality and power.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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