What Does "parole" Mean?

According to Dictionary.com, "parole" is a law term denoting the early release of a convicted person from their sentence. Parole typically requires an assurance that the released prisoner abide by specified conditions and submit to supervision.

The word "parole" originated from the Latin word "parabola," meaning speech, later adopted into Old French as "parole," meaning word. According to The Free Dictionary, "parole" gained its current meaning in English from the French phrase "parole d'honneur" meaning "word of honor," which was given by a prisoner to guarantee his return when allowed to leave the prison for any amount of time. In the United States, parole has been practiced since 1876. The specific conditions of a person's parole are decided by a parole board.