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bail 1 (bāl)
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n.
1. Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that person's appearance for trial.
2. Release from imprisonment provided by the payment of such money.
3. A person who provides this security.
tr.v. bailed, bail·ing, bails
1. To secure the release of by providing security.
2. To release (a person) for whom security has been paid.
3. Informal To extricate from a difficult situation: always bailing you out of trouble.
Idioms:
jump/skip bail
To fail to appear in court and so forfeit one's bail.
make bail
To secure enough money or property to pay the amount of one's bail.

[Middle English, custody, from Old French, from baillier, to take charge of, from Latin bāiulāre, to carry a load, from bāiulus, carrier of a burden.]

bailer n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bail 2 (bāl)
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v. bailed, bail·ing, bails
v.tr.
1. To remove (water) from a boat by repeatedly filling a container and emptying it over the side.
2. To empty (a boat) of water by bailing.
v.intr.
1. To empty a boat of water by bailing.
2. To parachute from an aircraft; eject. Often used with out: bailed out of the damaged airplane at the last possible moment.
3. To abandon a project or enterprise. Often used with out: The investors bailed out when it looked as though the company was going to be unprofitable.
n.
A container used for emptying water from a boat.

[From Middle English baille, bucket, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *bāiula, water container, from Latin bāiulāre, to carry a load.]

bailer n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bail 3 (bāl)
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n.
1. The arched hooplike handle of a container, such as a pail.
2. An arch or hoop, such as one of those used to support the top of a covered wagon.
3. A hinged bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen.
4. The pivoting U-shaped part of a fishing reel that guides the line onto the spool during rewinding.
5. A small loop, usually of metal, attached to a pendant to enable it to be strung on a necklace or bracelet.

[Middle Englishbeil, perhaps fromOld English*begelorof Scandinavian origin; see bheug- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
bail3
covered wagon

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bail 4 (bāl)
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n.
1. Chiefly British A pole or bar used to confine or separate animals.
2. Sports One of the two crossbars that form the top of a wicket used in the game of cricket.

[Old French dialectal, probably from Latin baculum, stick; see BACILLUS.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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