Definition of parole in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘In either event, your Honour, the applicant would be eligible for immediate release, not on parole.’
    • ‘A decision to release such prisoners on parole can be delayed for years.’
    • ‘The controversial decision follows outrage over the apparent rise in the number of long-term prisoners being released on parole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yes, I am concerned about offenders who reoffend, whether they have been released on parole or have finished their sentence.’
    • ‘Over the years, Billie has gained insight into the reasons why prisoners released on parole so often fail and end up back in prison.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The earliest he could have been released on parole was in June 1976, some 15 months later.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Canadian public has recently seen several shocking crimes perpetrated by prisoners out on parole.’
    • ‘Among those women who were on parole or conditional release, drug treatment served a similar ‘diversion’ goal.’
    • ‘Subject to any agreement between countries as to the exchange of prisoners 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.’
    • ‘The sign emerges at the conjunction of the signified and the signifier, both of which are in parole, or a language's concrete properties.’
    • ‘To draw a Saussurian analogy of my own, writing is parole, praxis, not a moribund, non-negotiable langue.’
    • ‘I continually move between langue and parole, between the oral and the written, and vice versa.’


  • Release (a prisoner) on parole:

    ‘he was paroled after serving nine months of a two-year sentence’
    • ‘After 6 years in prison, he was paroled but died of heart failure only 8 months later at age 58.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But due to good behavior in prison, he is paroled after only five years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many voters were afraid and angry at stories of killers being paroled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some supporters of the death penalty argue that more innocents have been killed by released or paroled murderers than have been executed.’
    • ‘More than 200 inmates from prisons across the country will be paroled for anything from a few hours to a week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and was paroled in 2003.’
    • ‘Sideshow Bob terrorizes Bart after he is paroled from prison.’
    • ‘Originally sentenced to life in prison, he was paroled in 1975 after serving only three-and-a-half years under house arrest.’
    • ‘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.’


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