Meaning of BAIL in English


I. bail 1 /beɪl/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: 'keeping someone as a prisoner' , from baillier 'to deliver, keep as a prisoner' , from Medieval Latin bajulare 'to control' , from Latin bajulus 'someone who carries loads' ]

1 . [uncountable] money left with a court of law to make sure that a prisoner will return when their ↑ trial starts:

Carpenter is free on bail while he appeals his conviction.

She was murdered by a man who was out on bail for rape.

The three men were released on bail pending an appeal.

He is not likely to be granted bail.

Carter has been refused bail and will remain in custody.

The judge ordered that Jones be held without bail.

Why can’t you ask your father to put up bail for you?

Two of the defendants jumped bail and fled to New York.

Bail was set at $30,000.

2 . [countable usually plural] one of the two small pieces of wood laid on top of the ↑ stump s in a game of ↑ cricket

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■ verbs

▪ be released/freed on bail (=be allowed to stay out of prison if you pay or agree to do something)

The men were questioned yesterday before being released on bail.

▪ be granted/given bail

Magistrates adjourned the case until June 9 and Smith was granted bail.

▪ get bail

His wife says he hopes to get bail.

▪ be refused bail

Relatively few defendants are refused bail.

▪ be held without bail

He was being held without bail pending another hearing.

▪ set bail (=say how much someone must pay to be allowed to stay out of prison)

Judge Philip Moscone set bail at $2 million.

▪ post bail ( also put up bail ) (=pay an amount of money to be allowed to stay out of prison)

He had to post bail of US$100,000 before he could fly home to Canada.

▪ jump bail ( also skip bail British English ) (=not return for your trial as you promised)

He jumped bail and fled the country three days before he was to be sentenced.


▪ police bail (=when the police free someone before deciding whether to charge them with a crime)

She was released on police bail.

▪ conditional/unconditional bail (=when there are conditions/no conditions attached to someone being allowed to go free)

Both men were given unconditional bail and they left court without comment.

II. bail 2 BrE AmE verb

[ Sense 1-2, 4-6: Date: 1600-1700 ; Origin: bail 'container for liquids' (15-19 centuries) , from Old French baille , from Medieval Latin bajula , from Latin bajulus ( ⇨ ↑ bail 1 ); bail out ]

[ Sense 3: Origin: ⇨ ↑ bail 1 ]

1 . ( also bail out American English bale out British English ) [intransitive] informal to escape from a situation that you do not want to be in any more:

After ten years in the business, McArthur is baling out.

2 . [transitive usually passive] British English if someone is bailed, they are let out of prison to wait for their ↑ trial after they have left a sum of money with the court:

Dakers was bailed to appear at Durham Crown Court.

bail out phrasal verb

1 . bail somebody/something ↔ out ( also bale somebody/something ↔ out British English ) to do something to help someone out of trouble, especially financial problems:

Some local businesses have offered to bail out the museum.

Sutton bailed his team out with a goal in the last minute.

2 . bail somebody ↔ out to leave a large sum of money with a court so that someone can be let out of prison while waiting for their ↑ trial :

Clarke’s family paid £500 to bail him out.

3 . American English to escape from a plane, using a ↑ parachute SYN bale out British English

4 . bail something ↔ out ( also bale something ↔ out British English ) to remove water that has come into a boat

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.