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’
    • ‘Over the years, Billie has gained insight into the reasons why prisoners released on parole so often fail and end up back in prison.’
    • ‘Subject to any agreement between countries as to the exchange of prisoners on parole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yes, I am concerned about offenders who reoffend, whether they have been released on parole or have finished their sentence.’
    • ‘The Canadian public has recently seen several shocking crimes perpetrated by prisoners out on parole.’
    • ‘In either event, your Honour, the applicant would be eligible for immediate release, not on parole.’
    • ‘Among those women who were on parole or conditional release, drug treatment served a similar ‘diversion’ goal.’
    • ‘Also impacting on the timing issue is the system of potential release on parole after one third of the sentence and mandatory release at two thirds.’
    • ‘In truth, as the respondent submitted, it was the prisoner's conduct before and not as the result of allocation which was likely to be a factor which would affect the prospect of release on parole.’
    • ‘The earliest he could have been released on parole was in June 1976, some 15 months later.’
    • ‘Five others to be released on parole subject to evaluation of their prison records also committed crimes that do not appear to be politically motivated.’
    • ‘On 9 July 2003 he was released on parole without conditions, under the understanding that he would be living with his auntie.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The result was that the applicant's aggregate sentence is nine years and four months, and the applicant's minimum sentence on parole is seven years and four months.’
    • ‘He will be freed in late July after serving two-thirds of his sentence, but had hoped to be released on parole within the next few days.’
    • ‘The controversial decision follows outrage over the apparent rise in the number of long-term prisoners being released on parole.’
    • ‘He will have served half of his four year sentence when he is released on parole after being jailed at the Old Bailey two years ago for perjury and perverting the course of justice.’
    • ‘Nevertheless it is true that as a result of the change in parole policy the applicant will not become eligible for release on parole until he has served 20 years' imprisonment.’
    • ‘A decision to release such prisoners on parole can be delayed for years.’
    • ‘Now we still in most cases, fix a sentence, and then fix another term which the person must serve before they can be released on parole.’
    1. 1.1historical count noun 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’
      • ‘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.’
      word of honour, word, guarantee, promise, pledge, vow, avowal, oath, bond, affirmation, undertaking, commitment
      View synonyms
  • 2Linguistics
    The actual linguistic behaviour or performance of individuals, in contrast to the linguistic system of a community.

    Contrasted with langue
    • ‘Most important is Saussure's distinction between langue and parole.’
    • ‘The task of linguistics is to reconstruct the underlying system of a language that makes possible the speech events or parole.’
    • ‘I continually move between langue and parole, between the oral and the written, and vice versa.’
    • ‘To draw a Saussurian analogy of my own, writing is parole, praxis, not a moribund, non-negotiable langue.’
    • ‘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]
  • Release (a prisoner) on parole.

    ‘he was paroled after serving nine months of a two-year sentence’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No decision has been made whether he will be paroled or not, is that correct?’
    • ‘That's because he was paroled after serving only four years and four months of his eight-year term.’
    • ‘Sideshow Bob terrorizes Bart after he is paroled from prison.’
    • ‘His brother is recently paroled from prison after serving a term for murder.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘He was paroled last spring after serving four years of his 70-month prison term.’
    • ‘An old woman is paroled from prison because ‘the inmates amount rised’ and cleverly tricks some people drinking on an old pier to follow her back to her warehouse headquarters.’
    • ‘Many voters were afraid and angry at stories of killers being paroled.’
    • ‘Originally sentenced to life in prison, he was paroled in 1975 after serving only three-and-a-half years under house arrest.’
    • ‘More than 200 inmates from prisons across the country will be paroled for anything from a few hours to a week.’
    • ‘After 6 years in prison, he was paroled but died of heart failure only 8 months later at age 58.’
    • ‘Some supporters of the death penalty argue that more innocents have been killed by released or paroled murderers than have been executed.’
    • ‘He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and was paroled in 2003.’
    • ‘Each time he has been paroled from prison he has committed another sex crime, but authorities now consider him a ‘low to moderate’ risk.’
    • ‘He was then paroled - according to the transcript, he was given parole in respect of that late in 1996.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not long after David was paroled after going to prison for the first time, I had a dream.’
    • ‘He was never paroled, but was released instead on compassionate grounds.’
    • ‘But due to good behavior in prison, he is paroled after only five years.’


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