Bale out


      • to rescue or save someone or something from a difficult or dangerous situation
        When a person or organization is in trouble or facing a crisis, they may need to be bailed out by someone else in order to avoid further harm or damage.

      • to leave a place quickly or unexpectedly
        This meaning is often used in the context of escaping from a difficult or unpleasant situation, such as a bad date or a boring party.

      • to abandon or give up on something or someone
        This meaning is typically used in a negative sense, indicating that someone is giving up on a project, relationship, or responsibility.

    Examples of Bale out

    • After realizing the business plan was doomed, he decided to bail out before things got worse.

      The phrase "bail out" here metaphorically implies that he chose to abandon participation in the business plan to avoid further negative consequences.

    • When the small boat began taking on water, everyone had to bail out quickly.

      "Bail out" in this context means to remove water from the boat manually to prevent it from sinking.

    • Despite the pilot's efforts, the plane was going down, and the order was given to bail out.

      Here, "bail out" means to parachute from an aircraft due to an emergency.

    • Investors bailed out of the stock as soon as the scandal hit the news.

      In this scenario, "bailed out" means the investors quickly sold their shares because of the negative news.

    • We had planned a picnic, but when the thunderstorm started, we bailed out and went to a café.

      "Bailed out" here is used to describe the act of abandoning the original plan due to unforeseen circumstances.

    • She might have to bail her brother out of jail if no one else will.

      "Bail out" in this sentence refers to the act of providing money or property to secure the temporary release of her brother from jail.

    • The government decided to bail out the failing banks to prevent a collapse of the financial system.

      "Bail out" here indicates the government's act of providing financial assistance to the banks to avert their failure.

    • If you get yourself into that kind of trouble again, don't expect me to bail you out.

      "Bail you out" means providing assistance or rescuing someone from a difficult situation they are in.


    The idiom "bale out/bail out" can have various meanings depending on the context in which it is used. However, all of its meanings revolve around the idea of escaping or avoiding a difficult or dangerous situation. Whether it is used to refer to a rescue or a hasty departure, the underlying intention is to protect oneself or others from harm.

    In its first meaning, "bale out/bail out" is often used in a financial sense. When a company or individual is facing financial difficulties, they may need to be bailed out by someone else in order to stay afloat. This can involve receiving financial aid or assistance from another party, such as a government or a wealthy individual. In this context, the idiom is often used to describe a last resort measure to avoid bankruptcy or other serious consequences.

    The second meaning of "bale out/bail out" refers to a quick escape or departure from a situation. This can be used in a literal sense, such as jumping out of a plane with a parachute, but it is more commonly used in a figurative sense. For example, someone might say "I need to bail out of this party" if they are feeling uncomfortable or bored and want to leave.

    Lastly, the idiom can also be used to indicate giving up or abandoning something or someone. This meaning is often used in a negative sense, suggesting that the person is giving up too easily or without putting in enough effort. It can also be used to describe someone who is unreliable or not fulfilling their responsibilities. Overall, the idiom "bale out/bail out" conveys a sense of escaping or avoiding a difficult situation, whether it be physical, financial, or emotional.

    Origin of "Bale out"

    The origin of the idiom "bale out/bail out" can be traced back to the 17th century, when the word "bale" was used to refer to a bundle of goods or merchandise. This term was commonly used in the shipping industry, where it was used to describe the process of removing water from a sinking ship by using buckets or other containers. This process was referred to as "baling out" and eventually evolved into the phrase "bail out."

    Over time, the term "bail out" came to be used in a more general sense to refer to any situation where someone or something needed to be rescued or saved. It was first recorded in this context in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, when the US government provided financial assistance to struggling banks and other businesses. This use of the term was then adopted into various other industries and contexts, eventually leading to the multiple meanings of the idiom we know today.