- 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.
- on bail, released or free as a result of having posted bond: He was out on bail within 10 hours of his arrest.
- 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.
- to deliver possession of (goods) for storage, hire, or other special purpose, without transfer of ownership.
- 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 abscond while free on bail: The suspect jumped bail and is now being sought.
Origin of bail1
- 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.
Origin of bail2
- 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 bail water.
- Also bail·er. a bucket, dipper, or other container used for bailing.
- bail out,
- to make a parachute jump from an airplane.
- 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.
- to give up on or abandon something, as to evade a responsibility: His partner bailed out before the business failed.
Origin of bail3
- 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).
- bail up! Australian. (the cry of challenge of a pioneer or person living in the bush.)
Origin of bail4
Examples from the Web for bail
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.The 14 Teens Killed by Cops Since Michael Brown
November 25, 2014
Anderson is out on bail after posting 10 percent of a $150,000 bond.Ohio Elementary School Teacher Charged With Raping Her Son
November 11, 2014
Goodman retreated to house arrest at his luxury mansion on $4 million bail.Money, Murder, and Adoption: The Wild Trial of the Polo King
October 28, 2014
He was out on bail awaiting a sentencing hearing when he skipped town last.Does a Perv Know Maddie McCann’s Fate?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 16, 2014
The Belgian court is now determining whether to grant Johnson bail while she awaits trial.Caught: Female Assassin Who Allegedly Murdered Five American Nuns
Barbie Latza Nadeau
September 22, 2014
He had himself been obliged to bail out three times, running in from the reef.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
You expect me to bail you out—clean up your debts—put you clear?The Big Tomorrow
Bail was denied to Marsh, Vasca and Joe, and for them a speedy trial was urged.The Harbor
Like a malefactor out on bail, he was painting a picture for the future.A Breath of Prairie and other stories
De Launay whispered an intimation that he was interested in the bail suggestion.Louisiana Lou
William West Winter
- 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 takenhe 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
- (often foll by out) to remove (water) from (a boat)
- 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
- 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
Word Origin and History for bail
"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."
"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.
"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).
"to procure someone's release from prison" (by posting bail), 1580s, from bail (n.1); usually with out. Related: Bailed; bailing.
Idioms and Phrases with bail
In addition to the idiom beginning with bail
- bail out
- make bail
- out on bail
- skip bail