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to dip (water) out of a boat, as with a bucket.
to clear of water by dipping (usually followed by out):
to bail out a boat.
to bail water.
Also, bailer. a bucket, dipper, or other container used for bailing.
bail out,

to make a parachute jump from an airplane.
to relieve or assist (a person, company, etc.) in an emergency situation, especially a financial crisis:
The corporation bailed out its failing subsidiary through a series of refinancing operations.
to give up on or abandon something, as to evade a responsibility:
His partner bailed out before the business failed.

Contemporary Examples

It sure looks like Pawlenty is bailing out to go work for the bailed-out.
Pawlenty Leaves Romney Campaign for Financial Lobby Job Daniel Gross September 19, 2012

In the latest crackdown, Kenneth Feinberg announced a $500K salary cap on executives at bailed-out firms.
The Pay Czar’s New Rules Robert Pozen December 10, 2009

By putting compensation caps on some bailed-out firms, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg sent a message, writes Nomi Prins.
Pay Cut Backfire Nomi Prins October 21, 2009

He points out that a guarrantee is just that – he hasn’t been ‘bailed-out.’
James Middleton: I Am Not Gay, And My Company is Doing Nicely Tom Sykes March 10, 2013

In recent months, however, one bailed-out, much-hated bank has found salvation through an unorthodox, low-affect marketing method.
Citi Investment in New York City Bikeshare Pays Off William O’Connor July 15, 2013

a sum of money by which a person is bound to take responsibility for the appearance in court of another person or himself or herself, forfeited if the person fails to appear
the person or persons so binding themselves; surety
the system permitting release of a person from custody where such security has been taken: he was released on bail
jump bail, (formal) forfeit bail, to fail to appear in court to answer to a charge
stand bail, go bail, to act as surety (for someone)
verb (transitive)
(often foll by out) to release or obtain the release of (a person) from custody, security having been made
(often foll by out) to remove (water) from (a boat)
(cricket) either of two small wooden bars placed across the tops of the stumps to form the wicket

a partition between stalls in a stable or barn, for horses
a portable dairy house built on wheels or skids

(Austral & NZ) a framework in a cowshed used to secure the head of a cow during milking
See bail up
the semicircular handle of a kettle, bucket, etc
a semicircular support for a canopy
a movable bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen

“bond money,” late 15c., a sense that apparently developed from that of “temporary release from jail” (into the custody of another, who gives security), recorded from early 15c. That evolved from earlier meaning “captivity, custody” (early 14c.). From Old French baillier “to control, to guard, deliver” (12c.), from Latin bajulare “to bear a burden,” from bajulus “porter,” of unknown origin. In late 18c. criminal slang, to give leg bail meant “to run away.”

“horizontal piece of wood in a cricket wicket,” c.1742, originally “any cross bar” (1570s), probably identical with Middle French bail “horizontal piece of wood affixed on two stakes,” and with English bail “palisade wall, outer wall of a castle” (see bailey).

“to dip water out of,” 1610s, from baile (n.) “small wooden bucket” (mid-14c.), from nautical Old French baille “bucket, pail,” from Medieval Latin *bajula (aquae), literally “porter of water,” from Latin bajulare “to bear a burden” (see bail (n.1)). To bail out “leave suddenly” (intransitive) is recorded from 1930, originally of airplane pilots. Related: Bailed; bailing.

“to procure someone’s release from prison” (by posting bail), 1580s, from bail (n.1); usually with out. Related: Bailed; bailing.


To leave; cut out, split: Bruce has bailed from the scene entirely/ Most of my friends had bailed to stay with other relatives

Related Terms

jump bail

[1970s+ college students; fr bail out]
In addition to the idiom beginning with


Read Also:

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    the defensive wall surrounding an outer court of a castle. the courtyard itself. Liberty Hyde, 1858–1954, U.S. botanist, horticulturist, and writer. Nathan or Nathaniel, died 1742, English lexicographer. Contemporary Examples Ironically, next up at Staples Center is the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & bailey Circus. The Greatest Showman on Earth Pat O’Brien July 6, 2009 […]

  • Bailey bridge

    a temporary bridge formed of prefabricated, interchangeable, steel truss panels bolted together. noun a temporary bridge made of prefabricated steel panels that can be rapidly assembled

  • Bailie

    (in Scotland) a municipal officer or magistrate, corresponding to an English alderman. Obsolete, bailiff. Historical Examples bailie Duke then turned to Kinlay, holding the viking’s stone in his fingers. The Pilots of Pomona Robert Leighton I suspect, Tom, you and the bailie were rather convivial after supper. Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October […]

  • Bailiff

    an officer, similar to a sheriff or a sheriff’s deputy, employed to execute writs and processes, make arrests, keep order in the court, etc. (in Britain) a person charged with local administrative authority, or the chief magistrate in certain towns. (especially in Britain) an overseer of a landed estate or farm. Contemporary Examples Before long, […]

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