• A hinged bar as a restraint for animals, or on a typewriter.
  • (cricket) One of the two wooden crosspieces that rest on top of the stumps to form a wicket.
  • (law, Britain) The person providing such payment.
  • A stall for a cow (or other animal) (usually tethered with a semi-circular hoop).
  • A hoop, ring, or other object used to connect a pendant to a necklace.
  • (law, Britain) Release from imprisonment on payment of such money.
  • (obsolete) Custody; keeping.
  • A hoop, ring or handle (especially of a kettle or bucket).
  • (chiefly Australia and New Zealand) A frame to restrain a cow during milking or feeding.
  • Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that person's appearance for trial.
  • (furniture) Normally curved handle suspended between sockets as a drawer pull. This may also be on a kettle or pail, as the wire bail handle shown in the drawing.
  • A bucket or scoop used for removing water from a boat etc.


  • (nautical, transitive) To remove water from (a boat) by scooping it out.

    "to bail a boat"

  • (informal) To fail to meet a commitment.
  • (rare) To confine.
  • To secure the release of an arrested person by providing bail.
  • (nautical, transitive) To remove (water) from a boat by scooping it out.

    "to bail water out of a boat"

  • (slang) To exit quickly.

    "With his engine in flames, the pilot had no choice but to bail."

  • To secure the head of a cow during milking.
  • (Australia, New Zealand) To keep (a traveller) detained in order to rob them; to corner (a wild animal); loosely, to detain, hold up. (Usually with up.)
  • (law) To hand over personal property to be held temporarily by another as a bailment.

    "to bail cloth to a tailor to be made into a garment; to bail goods to a carrier"

  • To set free; to deliver; to release.
  • (Australia, New Zealand) To secure (a cow) by placing its head in a bail for milking.
  • (law) To release a person under such guarantee.

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