What is GAOL?

A prison for temporary confinement; a Jail; a place for the confinement ofoffenders against the law.There is said to be a distinction between “gaol” and “prison;” the former being aplace for temporary or provisional confinement, or forthe punishment of the lighter offenses and misdemeanors, while the latter is a place forpermanent or long-continued confinement, or for the punishment of graver crimes. Inmodern usage, this distinction is commonly taken between the words “gaol” and”penitentiary,” (or state’s prison.) but the name “prison” is indiscriminately applied toeither.

More On This Topic

Link to This Definition
Did you find this definition of GAOL helpful? You can share it by copying the code below and adding it to your blog or web page.
Written and fact checked by The Law Dictionary