bail2 /beɪl/


I. noun

1. (usu. bails)
[Cricket] either of the two crosspieces bridging the stumps, which the bowler and fielders try to dislodge with the ball to get the batsman out.

the Lancashire captain was at full stretch as the wicketkeeper took off the bails.
2. a bar which holds something in place, in particular:
3. a bar on a typewriter or computer printer which holds the paper steady.
[Climbing] a bar on a crampon which fits into a groove in the sole of a boot.
5. a bar separating horses in an open stable.
(Austral./NZ) a movable framework for securing the head of a cow during milking.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. (usu. bail someone up)
(Austral./NZ) confront (someone) with the intention of robbing them

they bailed up Mr Dyason and demanded his money.
(Austral./NZ) detain (someone) in conversation, especially against their will.

students will bail up Canberrans on Friday for donations for the Royal Blind Society.
(Austral./NZ) secure (a cow) during milking.
– origin Middle English (denoting the outer wall of a castle): from Old French baile ‘palisade, enclosure’, baillier ‘enclose’, perhaps from Latin baculum ‘rod, stick’.

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