or jail·or



a person who is in charge of a jail or section of a jail.
a person who forcibly confines another.

Origin of jailer

1250–1300; Middle English gaioler, jaioler, jailer < Old French jaiolier. See jail, -er2
Related formsun·der·jail·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for jailer

guard, turnkey

Examples from the Web for jailer

Contemporary Examples of jailer

Historical Examples of jailer

  • What had become of the jailer and the guards, Theseus never knew.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • And then the brown hand of her jailer closed over her mouth.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • The jailer pointed with his bunch of keys to a cell before him.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • His right hand continued to hang above the gun he had taken from the jailer.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • To know and to feel that they regard themselves as your prisoners, and you as their jailer?

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for jailer


jailor or gaoler


a person in charge of prisoners in a jail
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

Word Origin and History for jailer

also gaoler, late 14c., from Old North French gayolierre, Old French jaioleur, agent noun from jaole (see jail (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper