property or money given as surety that a person released from custody will return at an appointed time.
the person who agrees to be liable if someone released from custody does not return at an appointed time.
the state of release upon being bailed.
to grant or obtain the liberty of (a person under arrest) on security given for their appearance when required, such as in court for trial.
to deliver possession of (goods) for storage, hire, or other special purpose, without transfer of ownership.
Idioms about bail
go / stand bail for, to provide bail for: They spent the night in jail because no one would stand bail for them.
jump bail, to fail to return while free on bail: The suspect jumped bail and is now being sought.
on bail, (of a temporarily released person under arrest) having provided bail: He was out on bail within 10 hours of his arrest.
Other definitions for bail (2 of 4)
the semicircular handle of a kettle or pail.
a hooplike support, as for the canvas cover on a Conestoga wagon.
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.
- Rarely bale .
Other definitions for bail (3 of 4)
to dip (water) out of a boat, as with a bucket.
to clear of water by dipping (usually followed by out): to bail out a boat.
to relieve or assist (a person, company, etc.) in an emergency situation, especially a financial crisis (often followed by out): The corporation bailed out its failing subsidiary through a series of refinancing operations.
to clear a boat of water, as with a bucket: They flipped the canoe back to its upright position and started bailing rapidly.
to make a parachute jump from an airplane (often followed by out).
to give up on or abandon something, as to evade a responsibility (often followed by out): My cousin volunteered to help but bailed at the last minute.
Also bailer. a bucket, dipper, or other container used for bailing.
- Also bale (for defs. 1, 2, 4) .
Other definitions for bail (4 of 4)
Cricket. either of the two small bars or sticks laid across the tops of the stumps which form the wicket.
British, Australian. a bar, framework, partition, or the like, for confining or separating cows, horses, etc., in a stable.
bails, Obsolete. the wall of an outer court of a feudal castle.
bail up, Australian.
to confine a cow for milking, as in a bail.
to force (one) to surrender or identify oneself or to state one's business.
to waylay or rob (someone).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bail in a sentence
She was arrested and charged with drug possession, violating bail and drug trafficking, court records show.She Was Afraid of Her Lawyer. Then the Text Messages Started. | by Samantha Hogan, The Maine Monitor | October 8, 2020 | ProPublica
Collectors can arrest borrowers who miss a court hearing and even keep the bail money.Four ProPublica Projects Named Finalists for Loeb Awards | by ProPublica | October 6, 2020 | ProPublica
Dispatch confirmed she was out on bail for drunken driving, police records show, so Harmon asked her to step out of the car.Maine Hires Lawyers With Criminal Records to Defend Its Poorest Residents | by Samantha Hogan, The Maine Monitor, with data analysis by Agnel Philip | October 6, 2020 | ProPublica
Iran has repeatedly sentenced journalists to lengthy jail terms but then released them on bail, leaving journalists technically free but silenced by authorities’ ability to summon them at any time.These 10 female journalists deserve justice immediately | Brett Haensel | October 1, 2020 | Fortune
Silento was already out on bail for an earlier arrest when the incident happened, prosecutors noted.Silento Charged After Attacking Strangers With A Hatchet | Joi-Marie McKenzie | September 4, 2020 | Essence.com
A Harvard-educated poet and professor, Linsker was arrested early Sunday morning and released without bail later that day.The High-Priced Union Rep Charged With Attacking a Cop | Jacob Siegel | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Livvix allegedly arrived in Israel a short time after he jumped bail on drug charges.The Strange Case of the Christian Zionist Terrorist | Creede Newton | December 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Women who could afford to make bail started being released every two hours early Wednesday afternoon.
Myers had been out on bail in a gun case, but his family claimed he was unarmed and holding only a sandwich in his hand.
Anderson is out on bail after posting 10 percent of a $150,000 bond.Ohio Elementary School Teacher Charged With Raping Her Son | Nina Strochlic | November 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The bail, a reputable tradesman, with astonishment declared that he never was in a gaol in his life.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
I had taken the doctor to see him, got him out on sick leave, and when he was put back again gave bail for him.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) | Robert Louis Stevenson
We are requiring heavy bail and asking for imprisonment in the penitentiary in case of conviction.Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls | Various
The accompanying sketch shows how I arranged a hook, fastened over the collar of the pump, to take the bail of the bucket.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
In the mean time the canoe sprung a leak, and we found it impossible to bail out the water as fast as it came in.
British Dictionary definitions for bail (1 of 4)
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
the person or persons so binding themselves; surety
the system permitting release of a person from custody where such security has been taken: he was released on bail
jump bail or formal forfeit bail to fail to appear in court to answer to a charge
stand bail or go bail to act as surety (for someone)
(often foll by out) to release or obtain the release of (a person) from custody, security having been made
- See also bail out
British Dictionary definitions for bail (2 of 4)
(often foll by out) to remove (water) from (a boat)
- bailer or baler, noun
British Dictionary definitions for bail (3 of 4)
cricket either of two small wooden bars placed across the tops of the stumps to form the wicket
a partition between stalls in a stable or barn, for horses
a portable dairy house built on wheels or skids
Australian and NZ a framework in a cowshed used to secure the head of a cow during milking
See bail up
British Dictionary definitions for bail (4 of 4)
the semicircular handle of a kettle, bucket, etc
a semicircular support for a canopy
a movable bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with bail
In addition to the idiom beginning with bail
- bail out
- make bail
- out on bail
- skip bail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.