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Line breaks: pa¦role
Pronunciation: /pəˈrəʊl

Definition of parole in English:


[mass noun]
1The temporary or permanent release of a prisoner before the expiry of a sentence, on the promise of good behaviour: he committed a burglary while on parole
More example sentences
  • If this is not bad enough, a large percentage of women sentenced to prison on parole violations have not committed any new crimes, but rather were returned for not passing their urine tests.
  • Even in such cases, however, the task of the Parole Board is the same as in any other case: to assess the risk that the particular prisoner if released on parole, will offend again.
  • Over the years, Billie has gained insight into the reasons why prisoners released on parole so often fail and end up back in prison.
1.1 [count noun] historical A promise or undertaking given by a prisoner of war to return to custody or act as a non-belligerent if released: I took their paroles of honour [mass noun]: a good many French officers had been living on parole in Melrose
More example sentences
  • He separated the captured officers, took their paroles of honour not to attempt escape, then advanced each captain $50 (circa 200 New York shillings) towards private accommodation for themselves and their subalterns on Long Island.
2 Linguistics The actual linguistic behaviour or performance of individuals, in contrast to the linguistic system of a community. Contrasted with langue.
Example sentences
  • Most important is Saussure's distinction between langue and parole.
  • I continually move between langue and parole, between the oral and the written, and vice versa.
  • The sign emerges at the conjunction of the signified and the signifier, both of which are in parole, or a language's concrete properties.


[with object] Back to top  
Release (a prisoner) on parole: he was paroled after serving nine months of a two-year sentence
More example sentences
  • In these anxious times, the market for personal-location trackers is looking up - but do we really want to burden our children with the technology that tags paroled prisoners?
  • It is a fundamental fault and flaw to have the people who turn the keys responsible for writing the report that recommends whether an inmate should be paroled or released.
  • The scheme will be mainly targeted at offenders who serve six months or less in jail, but will apply in theory to all prisoners who are paroled.


late 15th century: from Old French, literally 'word', also 'formal promise', from ecclesiastical Latin parabola 'speech'; compare with parol.



Example sentences
  • California, which has the highest rate of parole violators, sends almost 90,000 of its 118,000 parolees back to prison, at a cost of $900 million each year.
  • The parole officer would then be in a position to immediately suspend the long-term supervision order, or in the case of a parolee, revoke the parole.
  • The Parole Board recalled 231 parolees to prison to recommence serving their sentences in the 2002-03 financial year.

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