Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
The old English word for jail.
GAOL. A prison or building designated by law or used by the sheriff, for the confinement or detention of those, whose persons are judicially ordered to be kept in custody., This word, sometimes written jail, is said to be derived from the Spanish jaula, a cage, (derived from caula,) in French geole, gaol. 1 Mann. & Gran. 222, note a. Vide 6 John. R. 22; 14 Vin. Ab. 9; Bac. Ab. h. t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 4 Com. Dig. 619; and the articles Gaoler; Prison; Prisoner.