• WordNet 3.6
    • v bail remove (water) from a vessel with a container
    • v bail empty (a vessel) by bailing
    • v bail secure the release of (someone) by providing security
    • v bail deliver something in trust to somebody for a special purpose and for a limited period
    • v bail release after a security has been paid
    • n bail the legal system that allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody (usually on condition that a sum of money guarantees their appearance at trial) "he is out on bail"
    • n bail (criminal law) money that must be forfeited by the bondsman if an accused person fails to appear in court for trial "the judge set bail at $10,000","a $10,000 bond was furnished by an alderman"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A man was arrested and charged with the robbery—of vending machines. The man posted bail, entirely in quarters.
    • n Bail bāl A bucket or scoop used in bailing water out of a boat. "The bail of a canoe . . . made of a human skull."
    • Bail A certain limit within a forest.
    • Bail A division for the stalls of an open stable.
    • Bail A half hoop for supporting the cover of a carrier's wagon, awning of a boat, etc.
    • Bail A line of palisades serving as an exterior defense.
    • Bail Custody; keeping. "Silly Faunus now within their bail ."
    • Bail The arched handle of a kettle, pail, or similar vessel, usually movable.
    • Bail The outer wall of a feudal castle. Hence: The space inclosed by it; the outer court.
    • Bail (Law) The person or persons who procure the release of a prisoner from the custody of the officer, or from imprisonment, by becoming surety for his appearance in court.
    • Bail (Law) The security given for the appearance of a prisoner in order to obtain his release from custody of the officer; as, the man is out on bail; to go bail for any one.
    • Bail (Cricket) The top or cross piece (or either of the two cross pieces) of the wicket.
    • Bail (Law) To deliver, as goods in trust, for some special object or purpose, upon a contract, expressed or implied, that the trust shall be faithfully executed on the part of the bailee, or person intrusted; as, to bail cloth to a tailor to be made into a garment; to bail goods to a carrier.
    • Bail To deliver; to release. "Ne none there was to rescue her, ne none to bail ."
    • Bail To dip or lade water from; -- often with out to express completeness; as, to bail a boat. "By the help of a small bucket and our hats we bailed her out."
    • Bail To lade; to dip and throw; -- usually with out; as, to bail water out of a boat. "Buckets . . . to bail out the water."
    • Bail (Law) To set free, or deliver from arrest, or out of custody, on the undertaking of some other person or persons that he or they will be responsible for the appearance, at a certain day and place, of the person bailed.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n bail A hoop or ring; a piece of wood, metal, or other material bent into the form of a circle or half-circle, as a hoop for supporting the tilt of a boat, the cover of a wagon or cradle, etc. Specifically The hoop forming the handle of a kettle or bucket.
    • n bail One of the iron yokes which serve to suspend a lifecar from the hawser on which it runs.
    • n bail A stout iron yoke placed over heavy guns and fitting closely over the ends of the trunnions, to which it is attached by pins in the axis of the trunnions: used to raise the gun by means of the gin.
    • n bail An arched support of a millstone.
    • n bail A wooden canopy formed of bows.
    • bail To provide with a bail; hoop.
    • bail In law: To deliver, as goods, without transference of ownership, on an agreement, expressed or implied, that they shall be returned or accounted for. See bailment.
    • bail To set free, deliver, or liberate from arrest and imprisonment, upon security given that the person bailed shall appear and answer in court or satisfy the judgment given: applied to the action of the magistrate or the surety. The magistrate is said to bail a person (or to admit him to bail) when he liberates him from arrest or imprisonment, upon bond given with sureties. The surety is also said to bail the person whose release he procures by giving the bond.
    • bail Figuratively, to release; liberate.
    • bail To be security for; secure; protect.
    • n bail Power; custody; jurisdiction.
    • n bail The keeping of a person in nominal custody on security that he shall appear in court at a specified time. The person is said to be admitted to bail, in which phrase, however, bail is now commonly thought of as the security given. See 3.
    • n bail Security given to obtain the release of a prisoner from custody, pending final decision in the action against him. In civil cases a person arrested has always the right to give sufficient bail, and thereupon be released from custody. In criminal cases the defendant has also this right, as a rule, when the crime charged is a mere misdemeanor. Whether to bail one charged with treason or felony is usually in the discretion of the judge, and in some states bail is always denied to one held for a crime punishable with death. The security is in the form of a bond executed by responsible sureties, providing that the defendant shall appear at the order of the court under penalty of forfeiture of the sum named in the bond. The person bailed is regarded as but transferred from the custody of the law to that of his sureties, who may therefore seize and surrender him at any time. In civil cases there are several kinds of bail at common law, the chief being common bail and special bail. Common bail, or bail below, which is now disused, was given to the sheriff on a bail-bond entered into by two persons, on condition that the defendant appear at the day and in such place as the arresting process commands. Special bail, bail above, or bail to the action, is given by persons who undertake generally, after appearance of a defendant, that if he be condemned in the action he shall satisfy the debt, costs, and damages, or render himself to the proper person, or that they will do so for him. (Wharton.) In Scotland, bail in civil cases is called caution (which see).
    • n bail Figuratively, security; guaranty.
    • n bail Liberation on bail: as, to grant bail.
    • n bail The person or persons who provide bail, and thus obtain the temporary release of a prisoner. Persons who make a business of furnishing bail on payment of a fee often frequent law-courts. Formerly such persons wore straws in their shoes as a sign of their occupation; hence the term straw bail, used to designate fictitious or irresponsible professional bail.
    • n bail [Bail, being an abstract noun applicable to persons only by ellipsis, is not used in the plural.]
    • n bail To vouch (for a thing): as, I'll go bail for that.
    • n bail A bar; a cross-bar.
    • n bail In cricket, one of the two little bars or sticks, about 4 inches long, which are laid on the tops of the stumps, one end resting in the groove of one stump, and the other in that of the next. Since they fall with the lightest blow, they serve to indicate when the stumps have been struck.
    • n bail A bar or pole to separate horses in a stable.
    • n bail A framework for securing the head of a cow while she is being milked.
    • n bail [The earliest use in E.] Milit.: plural The outer wall or line of defenses, originally often made of stakes; barriers; palisades. See palisade. Hence— The space inclosed by the outer wall; the outer court of a castle or a fortified post: in this sense usually called bailey. See bailey.
    • n bail A certain limit in a forest.
    • bail To bar in; confine.
    • bail To provide with a bail.
    • n bail A bucket; a pail; especially, a bucket or other small vessel used to dip water out of a boat.
    • bail To remove (water), or free (a boat, etc.) from water, with a bail, bucket, basin, or other small vessel: usually with out.
    • bail To remove water, as from a boat or the like, with a bail or bucket.
    • bail etc. Obsolete and less proper spelling of bale, etc.
    • n bail In Canadian law, a demise of realty.
    • n bail In practice, the formal entering of fictitious bail when special bail is not required. It is intended merely to express the appearance of a defendant.
    • bail To halt or surrender when “bailed up” or “held up” by a highway-man.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Bail bāl one who procures the release of an accused person by becoming guardian or security for his appearing in court: the security given:
    • v.t Bail to set a person free by giving security for him: to release on the security of another
    • v.t Bail bāl (rare) to confine
    • n Bail bāl palisades, barriers: a pole separating horses in an open stable.
    • n Bail bāl one of the cross pieces on the top of the wicket in cricket
    • v.t Bail bāl to clear (a boat) of water with bails or shallow buckets
    • n Bail a man or instrument for bailing water out of a ship, pit, &c.—Also spelled Bale
    • n Bail bāl (Spens.) jurisdiction
    • ***


  • Abraham Lincoln
    “I could as easily bail out the Potomac River with a teaspoon as attend to all the details of the army.”
  • James Dye
    James Dye
    “The term bail-out is deceptive. They have people come up with euphenisms to hide reality”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. beyl,; cf. Dan. böile, a bending, ring, hoop, Sw. bögel, bygel, and Icel. beyla, hump, swelling, akin to E. bow, to bend
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. bail, jurisdiction—baillier, to control, deliver. Primarily implying 'custody' or 'charge,' the word became associated with Norm. Fr. bailler, to deliver—L. bajulus.


In literature:

They bent to their oars; the boys bailed as hard as they could.
"The Voyage of the "Steadfast"" by W.H.G. Kingston
He at first set to work to bail out the boat, for already she had shipped a good deal of water.
"Michael Penguyne" by William H. G. Kingston
Even as it was, they continued breaking over the sides, and it required active bailing to free her from water.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
Tweed was once placed here in Ludlow Street Jail in default of $3,000,000 bail.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X)" by Various
Bail was demanded for his appearance to stand a trial for misconduct and breach of law.
"Who Are Happiest? and Other Stories" by T. S. Arthur
They passed the fisherman in the Hampton boat; he was bailing his craft.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
Kidd had made no good voyage, having no money and only 160 Bailes of Callicoes on board.
"Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period" by Various
It is now usual to set up two stumps with a bail across, which the batsman, when he runs, must beat off before he returns home.
"The Book of Sports:" by William Martin
Frank was the patron saint of the students for years when it came to bail.
"At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch
They were bound over and released on bail.
"Blue Ridge Country" by Jean Thomas

In poetry:

Then the lady told her master
How she gave the horse and mail
To the drunkard, and had taken
Abu Midjan's word for bail.
"Abu Midjan" by Archibald Lampman
Rock'd in the cradle of alarms,
Nurs'd in the school where glory's won,
Rejoicing in the din of arms,
Soon Valour bail'd her darling son:
"On The Death Of Lieut. Gen. Sir Ralph Abercromby. Killed At The Battle Of Alexandria, In Egypt, Marc" by Hector MacNeill
There is naught on earth to please us;
All things at the crisis fail.
Friends desert us, bailiffs tease us--
(To such foes we give leg-bail).
"Thick-Headed Thoughts: Part 3" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
If guiltless, how she have been slandered!
If guilty, wengeance will not fail:
Meanwhile the lady is remanded
And gev three hundred pouns in bail.
"The Knight And The Lady" by William Makepeace Thackeray
Whate'er they want unto the needy lend,
And God himself will deign to be their bail:
If thou shalt them in their distress befriend,
Christ will the debt repay thee, and ne'er fail.
"Advice To Distribute To The Poor, According To Every One's Circumstances And Abilities" by Rees Prichard
Our beds are maid of old rotten rugs,
And when you lay down you are covered with bugs;
The rugs they will swear they will never give bail,
And you're bound to get lousy in Vicksburg Jale.
"The Vicksburg Jail" by Anonymous Americas

In news:

President Barack Obama had little trouble winning Michigan in 2008, with his dominance in Wayne County and Detroit ensuring a double-digit drubbing of Sen John McCain, who bailed out of the state a month before the election.
Pension fund executives were among leaders in the effort to reform the financial system and end the doctrine of too big to fail and the practice of bailing out major financial institutions.
A man arrested in the shooting death of Yancy Noll at a north Seattle intersection has been ordered held without bail.
Pastorious was arraigned in the New Hartford Town Criminal Court and sent to the Oneida County Jail on no bail.
A Moscow court rejected an appeal on Thursday by the jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail B Khodorkovsky that he be freed on bail pending trial.
It's a good thing bail money doesn't count against the salary cap.
When the Old Town Scottsdale Oregano 's bailed on its original home and moved into the long-abandoned building that once housed an extravagant bar called Sugar Daddy's, we were a little shocked.
Show of his pledge to pay Julian Assange's bail.
Investors remain leery and bail out of stock market.
The transgender woman sought in connection with a botched-implant death last year is being held on $10 million bail following her arrest last night for a separate incident.
Could bail reform bail out California's overcrowded jails.
The two Americans bailed out of a failing F-14 Tomcat fighter jet in the Iraqi desert, and when rescuers asked if they could walk, they didn't hesitate.
Pardo brothers denied bail, release.
Knowing when to bail out.
American International Group posted first-quarter profits on Thursday that rose sharply versus last year, as the bailed-out insurer inches closer to paying back the US government.

In science:

Lorimer, D. R., Lyne, A. G., Bailes, M., Manchester, R. N., D’Amico, N., Stappers, B. W., Johnston, S., and Camilo, F., “Discovery of four binary millisecond pulsars”, Mon.
Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
Lorimer, D. R., Nicastro, L., Lyne, A. G., Bailes, M., Manchester, R. N., Johnston, S., Bell, J. F., D’Amico, N., and Harrison, P. A., “Four new millisecond pulsars in the Galactic disk”, Astrophys. J., 439, 933–938, (1995).
Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
Lyne, A. G., and Bailes, M., “The mass of the PSR 2303+46 system”, Mon.
Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
Nicastro, L., Lyne, A. G., Lorimer, D. R., Harrison, P. A., Bailes, M., and Skidmore, B. D., “PSR J1012+5307: a 5.26 ms pulsar in a 14.5 hour binary orbit”, Mon.
Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
Arzoumanian, Z., “Improved Bounds on Violation of the Strong Equivalence Principle”, in Bailes, M., Nice, D. J., and Thorsett, S. E., eds., Radio Pulsars, (Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, 2003).
Testing General Relativity with Pulsar Timing