• Gale


    • IPA: /ɡeɪl/
    • Rhymes: -eɪl
    • Homophones: Gail

    Origin 1

    From Middle English galen, from Old English galan ("to sing, enchant, call, cry, scream; sing charms, practice incantation"), from Proto-Germanic *galaną ("to roop, sing, charm"), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰol-, *gʰel- ("to shout, scream, charm away"). Cognate with Danish gale ("to crow"), Swedish gala ("to crow"), Icelandic gala ("to sing, chant, crow"), Dutch galm ("sound, noise"). Related to yell.

    Full definition of gale


    1. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To sing; charm; enchant.
      • Court of LoveCan he cry and gale.
    2. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To cry; groan; croak.
    3. (intransitive, of a person, now chiefly dialectal) To talk.
    4. (intransitive, of a bird, Scotland) To call.
    5. (transitive, now chiefly dialectal) To sing; utter with musical modulations.

    Origin 2

    From Middle English gale ("a wind, breeze"), probably of origin, related to Icelandic gola ("a breeze"), Danish gal ("furious, mad"),

    Etymology of gale

    both from Old Norse gala ("to sing").



    (plural gales)
    1. (meteorology) A very strong wind, more than a breeze, less than a storm; number 7 through 9 winds on the 12-step Beaufort scale.
    2. An outburst, especially of laughter.a gale of laughter
    3. (archaic) A light breeze.
      • ShakespeareA little gale will soon disperse that cloud.
      • MiltonAnd winds of gentlest gale Arabian odours fanned
        From their soft wings.
    4. (obsolete) A song or story.

    Coordinate terms


    1. (nautical) To sail, or sail fast.

    Origin 3

    Middle English gail, from Old English gagel



    1. A shrub, also sweet gale or bog myrtle (Myrica gale) growing on moors and fens.

    Origin 4

    Middle English gavel ("rent", "tribute"), from Old English gafol



    1. (archaic) A periodic payment, such as is made of a rent or annuity.Gale day - the day on which rent or interest is due.


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