or bail-out

[ beyl-out ]
/ ˈbeɪlˌaʊt /


the act of parachuting from an aircraft, especially to escape a crash, fire, etc.
an instance of coming to the rescue, especially financially: a government bailout of a large company.
an alternative, additional choice, or the like: If the highway is jammed, you have two side roads as bailouts.


of, relating to, or consisting of means for relieving an emergency situation: bailout measures for hard-pressed smallbusinesses.



Take this quiz to see if you really know the difference between “compliment” and “complement"!
Question 1 of 11
“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.

Origin of bailout

First recorded in 1950–55; noun, adj. use of verb phrase bail out

Definition for bail out (2 of 2)

Also bale (for defs 1–3).

Origin of bail

1425–75; late Middle English bayle < Middle French baille a bucket < Vulgar Latin *bāi(u)la; akin to Latin bāiulus carrier. See bail1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for bail out (1 of 6)

bail out

bale out

verb (adverb)

(intr) to make an emergency parachute jump from an aircraft
(tr) informal to help (a person, organization, etc) out of a predicamentthe government bailed the company out
(intr) informal to escape from a predicament

British Dictionary definitions for bail out (2 of 6)

/ (ˈbeɪlaʊt) /


an act of bailing out, usually by the government, of a failing institution or business

British Dictionary definitions for bail out (3 of 6)

/ (beɪl) law /


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 out (4 of 6)



/ (beɪl) /


(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 out (5 of 6)

/ (beɪl) /


cricket either of two small wooden bars placed across the tops of the stumps to form the wicket
  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


Word Origin for bail

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

British Dictionary definitions for bail out (6 of 6)



/ (beɪl) /


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 out (1 of 2)

bail out


Empty water out of a boat, usually by dipping with a bucket or other container. For example, We had to keep bailing out water from this leaky canoe. [Early 1600s]


Rescue someone in an emergency, especially a financial crisis of some kind, as in They were counting on an inheritance to bail them out. [Colloquial; 1900s]


Jump out of an airplane, using a parachute. For example, When the second engine sputtered, the pilot decided to bail out. [c. 1930]


Give up on something, abandon a responsibility, as in The company was not doing well, so John decided to bail out while he could still find another job. [Second half of 1900s]


See make bail.

Idioms and Phrases with bail out (2 of 2)


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