What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[puh-rohl] /pəˈroʊl/
  1. the conditional release of a person from prison prior to the end of the maximum sentence imposed.
  2. such release or its duration.
  3. an official document authorizing such a release.
  1. the promise, usually written, of a prisoner of war, that if released he or she either will return to custody at a specified time or will not again take up arms against his or her captors.
  2. (formerly) any password given by authorized personnel in passing by a guard.
word of honor given or pledged.
(in U.S. immigration laws) the temporary admission of aliens into the U.S. for emergency reasons or on grounds considered in the public interest, as authorized by and at the discretion of the attorney general.
verb (used with object), paroled, paroling.
to place or release on parole.
to admit (an alien) into the U.S. under the parole provision:
An increased number of Hungarian refugees were paroled into the United States.
of or relating to parole or parolees:
a parole record.
Origin of parole
1610-20; < Middle French, short for parole d'honneur word of honor. See parol
Related forms
parolable, adjective
unparolable, adjective
unparoled, adjective


[pa-rawl] /paˈrɔl/
noun, French.
language as manifested in the actual utterances produced by speakers of a language (contrasted with langue). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parole
  • The plaintiffs were asking either to be allowed out on parole or to have the conditions of their incarceration changed.
  • My parole officer says this is my last chance, this piecework for a faceless corporation.
  • Sweet tooth or not, you want a jam roll, a k a parole.
  • White had not set off any alarms in the parole system.
  • Yet long sentences without parole offer little incentive for good behaviour.
  • While your friends may find this the height of wit, your employer and professors and parole officer almost certainly will not.
  • Once he was released, the parole division was ill-prepared for the controversy.
  • The parole system is often attacked or defended on purely sentimental grounds.
  • Thirty minutes after that, he's sentenced to life in prison without parole.
  • US federal guidelines for such behaviour carries up to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
British Dictionary definitions for parole


  1. the freeing of a prisoner before his sentence has expired, on the condition that he is of good behaviour
  2. the duration of such conditional release
a promise given by a prisoner, as to be of good behaviour if granted liberty or partial liberty
a variant spelling of parol
(US, military) a password
(linguistics) language as manifested in the individual speech acts of particular speakers Compare langue, performance (sense 7), competence (sense 5)
on parole
  1. conditionally released from detention
  2. (informal) (of a person) under scrutiny, esp for a recurrence of an earlier shortcoming
verb (transitive)
to place (a person) on parole
Derived Forms
parolable, adjective
parolee (pəˌrəʊˈliː) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, from the phrase parole d'honneur word of honour; parole from Late Latin parabola speech
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 parole

1610s, "word of honor," especially "promise by a prisoner of war not to escape," from French parole "word, speech" (in parole d'honneur "word of honor") from Vulgar Latin *paraula "speech, discourse," from Latin parabola (see parable). Sense of "conditional release of a prisoner before full term" is first attested 1908 in criminal slang.


1716, from parole (n.). Originally it was what the prisoner did ("pledge"); its transitive meaning "put on parole" is first attested 1782. Related: Paroled; paroling.

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


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backgate parole

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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