See more synonyms for parole on
  1. Penology.
    1. the conditional release of a person from prison prior to the end of the maximum sentence imposed.
    2. such release or its duration.
    3. an official document authorizing such a release.
  2. Military.
    1. the promise, usually written, of a prisoner of war, that if released he or she either will return to custody at a specified time or will not again take up arms against his or her captors.
    2. (formerly) any password given by authorized personnel in passing by a guard.
  3. word of honor given or pledged.
  4. (in U.S. immigration laws) the temporary admission of aliens into the U.S. for emergency reasons or on grounds considered in the public interest, as authorized by and at the discretion of the attorney general.
verb (used with object), pa·roled, pa·rol·ing.
  1. to place or release on parole.
  2. to admit (an alien) into the U.S. under the parole provision: An increased number of Hungarian refugees were paroled into the United States.
  1. of or relating to parole or parolees: a parole record.

Origin of parole

1610–20; < Middle French, short for parole d'honneur word of honor. See parol
Related formspa·rol·a·ble, adjectiveun·pa·rol·a·ble, adjectiveun·pa·roled, adjective


noun French.
  1. language as manifested in the actual utterances produced by speakers of a language (contrasted with langue). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for parole

liberate, pardon, release, free

Examples from the Web for parole

Contemporary Examples of parole

Historical Examples of parole

  • Give me leave for three days on parole, and I will see you fully satisfied.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • This parole he broke, landing from Europe at Vera Cruz in 1824.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • After reigning for a twelvemonth, he was banished from Mexico on parole never to return.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • If he could be released from parole he would do loyal service for his country.

    Rodney, the Ranger

    John V. Lane

  • I gave my parole, and was allowed to come here to nurse him.

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King

British Dictionary definitions for parole


    1. the freeing of a prisoner before his sentence has expired, on the condition that he is of good behaviour
    2. the duration of such conditional release
  1. a promise given by a prisoner, as to be of good behaviour if granted liberty or partial liberty
  2. a variant spelling of parol
  3. US military a password
  4. linguistics language as manifested in the individual speech acts of particular speakersCompare langue, performance (def. 7), competence (def. 5)
  5. on parole
    1. conditionally released from detention
    2. informal(of a person) under scrutiny, esp for a recurrence of an earlier shortcoming
verb (tr)
  1. to place (a person) on parole
Derived Formsparolable, adjectiveparolee (pəˌrəʊˈliː), noun

Word Origin for parole

C17: from Old French, from the phrase parole d'honneur word of honour; parole from Late Latin parabola speech
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 parole

1610s, "word of honor," especially "promise by a prisoner of war not to escape," from French parole "word, speech" (in parole d'honneur "word of honor") from Vulgar Latin *paraula "speech, discourse," from Latin parabola (see parable). Sense of "conditional release of a prisoner before full term" is first attested 1908 in criminal slang.


1716, from parole (n.). Originally it was what the prisoner did ("pledge"); its transitive meaning "put on parole" is first attested 1782. Related: Paroled; paroling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper