You searched for: “gaol
A correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence); a jail.
This entry is located in the following unit: cav-, cavo-, cava-, cavi-, cavern- (page 3)
gaol, jail
gaol (JAYL) (noun)
Primarily British for "jail", a building or location for confining individuals accused of unlawful behavior: In the exciting British spy novels, the villain always goes to gaol in the end.
jail (JAYL) (noun)
A place where people are kept when they have been arrested and detained (held in custody) until they are convicted of a crime: Roger was being held in jail until his trial and then he would either go to prison, if convicted, or he would be released, if he was not found guilty of the criminal charge.

The actors were putting on a Shakespeare play in the old jail building which had been converted to a community theater. In the play, the stage directions said "... and he was placed in gaol"; which was easy because we had not removed the old jail cells.

jail, gaol; prison, penitentiary
jail (JAYL); British, gaol (JAYL) (noun)
1. A place for the confinement of people in lawful detention; especially, those who are awaiting trial under local jurisdiction: Jeremy was locked up in the county jail for driving while drunk.

Mildred was arrested for drunkenness and spent a night in the city jail.

2. A short-term detaining facility for those awaiting trial or for those convicted of minor offences: Aaron was kept in the city jail while he was being tried for murder and, if convicted, he would be sent to the state prison.
prison; penitentiary (PRIZ uhn; pen" i TEN shuh ree) (noun)
A long-term detention facility for those convicted of major, or more serious crimes: After spending six months in the city jail during his trial, Carlos was then sentenced to life in the state prison.

Trina was sentenced to forty years in a federal penitentiary for the crime that she committed.

In British English, there is no clear difference between jail and prison, and the word penitentiary is apparently not used in Great Britain.

The alleged criminal was held in the local jail which his British lawyer always referred to as the local gaol while his client was awaiting his trial.

When he was found guilty and sentenced, Adam was sent to the state penitentiary which his lawyer referred to as a prison.