bail

1
[ beyl ]
/ beɪl /
Law.

noun

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.

verb (used with object)

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.

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Idioms for bail

Origin of bail

1
First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English bayle, from Anglo-French bail “custody, charge,” from Old French, noun derivative of baillier “to hand over,” from Latin bāiulāre “to serve as porter,” verbal derivative of bāiulus “porter,” perhaps a Latin borrowing from Moesia, from unattested ba(r)i- “carry”; see bear1

Definition for bail (2 of 4)

bail2
[ beyl ]
/ beɪl /

noun

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.
Sometimes bale .

Origin of bail

2
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English beyl, perhaps from Old Norse; compare Old Norse beyglast “to become bent,” equivalent to baug(r) “ring” (see bee2) + unattested -il noun suffix + -ask reflexive infinitive suffix

Definition for bail (3 of 4)

bail3
[ beyl ]
/ beɪl /

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

noun

Also bail·er. a bucket, dipper, or other container used for bailing.
Also bale (for defs. 1, 2, 4) .

Origin of bail

3
First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English bayle, from Middle French baille “a bucket,” from unattested Vulgar Latin bāi(u)la; akin to Latin bāiulus “carrier”; see bail1

Definition for bail (4 of 4)

bail4
[ beyl ]
/ beɪl /

noun

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.

Verb Phrases

bail up, Australian.
  1. to confine a cow for milking, as in a bail.
  2. to force (one) to surrender or identify oneself or to state one's business.
  3. to waylay or rob (someone).

Origin of bail

4
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English baile, from Old French, from Latin bacula, plural of baculum “stick”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for bail

British Dictionary definitions for bail (1 of 4)

bail1
/ (beɪl) law /

noun

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)

verb (tr)

(often foll by out) to release or obtain the release of (a person) from custody, security having been made
See also bail out

Word Origin for bail

C14: from Old French: custody, from baillier to hand over, from Latin bāiulāre to carry burdens, from bāiulus carrier, of obscure origin

British Dictionary definitions for bail (2 of 4)

bail2

bale

/ (beɪl) /

verb

(often foll by out) to remove (water) from (a boat)

Derived forms of bail

bailer or baler, noun

Word Origin for bail

C13: from Old French baille bucket, from Latin bāiulus carrier

British Dictionary definitions for bail (3 of 4)

bail3
/ (beɪl) /

noun

cricket either of two small wooden bars placed across the tops of the stumps to form the wicket
agriculture
  1. a partition between stalls in a stable or barn, for horses
  2. 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

verb

Word Origin for bail

C18: from Old French baile stake, fortification, probably from Latin baculum stick

British Dictionary definitions for bail (4 of 4)

bail4

bale

/ (beɪl) /

noun

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 for bail

C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse beygja to bend
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

Idioms and Phrases with bail

bail

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.