Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


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.

Historical Examples

Tearing off my cap, I used it as a bailer and worked desperately.
Harper’s Round Table, September 17, 1895 Various

Schofield, with the bailer in one hand, lay flat in the bottom.
The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams

“I have a bailer here,” said Ross, producing it from the locker.
The Rushton Boys at Treasure Cove Spencer Davenport

There was only one bailer in the boat, and there was nothing else in the shape of a can or pail.
The Motor Girls in the Mountains Margaret Penrose

Then one of them pointed above toward the open shaft that Rawson had drilled, the shaft up which the bailer had gone.
Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin

The cuttings are cleaned out by a bailer, as for drive pipes.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 3 Various

Placing an oar, a bailer, and a can of gasoline in the boat, she prepared to leave the dock.
Saboteurs on the River Mildred A. Wirt

Still the boy Tristram said nothing, but turning round took a bailer from under the thwart, and began energetically bailing away.
Adrift in a Boat W.H.G. Kingston

I have before been in a storm without a bailer, which had been washed overboard, and almost lost my life through the same cause.
The Secrets of a Kuttite Edward O. Mousley

Except in smooth water they are very wet, and the bailer (a melon shell) is in constant requisition.
Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Vol. 2 (of 2) John MacGillivray

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:

  • Bailed-out

    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 […]

  • Bailey

    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 […]

Disclaimer: Bailer definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.