from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An escape from jail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun an escape from jail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An escape from prison
  • verb To escape from prison.
  • verb transitive To modify the firmware of an electronic device, especially a mobile phone, in order to remove restrictions that prevent it from running unofficial software.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an escape from jail


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • To secure a pliable news staff, he led what he called a "jailbreak" from his old employers, NBC, bringing dozens of top staffers with him to Fox News.

    The Guardian World News 2011

  • Another trip to Santa Anita Derby was known as the jailbreak year.

    NYT > Home Page By MEKADO MURPHY 2011

  • JailbreakMe 2.0 will "jailbreak" - unlock from restrictions imposed by the manufacturer - the

    Blogposts | 2010

  • And, really, if terrorists on the outside could help perform some jailbreak from a Supermax Prison or from Ft. Leavenworth, they could also commit a horrifying and staggering act of terrorism, and my bet is, given that capacity, they’d skip busting anybody out.

    Matthew Yglesias » Gitmo and NIMBY 2009

  • As a matter of fact, an iPhone after a jailbreak is a great eBook reader, and it does all sorts of other useful things.

    Look At Me, I’m on the Cutting Edge « Whatever 2007

  • Apple has been fighting so-called jailbreak hackers - hackers who bust through the Apple operating system OS in order to install programs illegally on the iPhone - in order to avoid malware. News Kenneth Rapoza 2011

  • The effort to reassure people with the captures failed to instill much confidence, and the most immediate fallout of the jailbreak was a mounting sense among Afghans that government corruption, incompetence and complacency were as much to blame as the Taliban.

    NYT > Home Page By ALISSA J. RUBIN 2011

  • The jailbreak is the second major escape from the prison in three years.

    BBC News - Home 2011

  • For Android phones, you just have to root aka jailbreak the device with a tool called

    Wired Top Stories Brian X. Chen 2011

  • In technical terms, to jailbreak is to enable a device to run code, meaning programs or system modifications, that hasn't been sanctioned by Apple.

    Gizmodo 2010


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  • The term for hacking an iPhone so that it can run unauthorized software.

    September 15, 2008

  • tweaking, or unblocking, cell phones so they run blocked applications or switch providers.

    January 30, 2009