• Wale


    • Rhymes: -eɪl

    Origin 1

    From Middle English wale, from Old English walu ("ridge, bank; rib, comb (of helmet); metal ridge on top of helmet; weal, mark of a blow"), from Proto-Germanic *waluz ("stick, root"), from Proto-Indo-European *welʷ- ("to turn, wind, roll"). Akin to Low German wāle; Old Norse vala ("knuckle").

    Full definition of wale



    (plural wales)
    1. A ridge or low barrier.
    2. A raised rib in knit goods or fabric, especially corduroy. (As opposed to course)
    3. The texture of a piece of fabric.
    4. (nautical) A horizontal ridge or ledge on the outside planking of a wooden ship. (See gunwale, chainwale)
    5. A horizontal timber used for supporting or retaining earth.
    6. A timber bolted to a row of piles to secure them together and in position.
    7. A ridge on the outside of a horse collar.
    8. A ridge or streak produced on skin by a cane or whip.


    1. To strike the skin in such a way as to produce a wale.
      • 1832: Owen Felltham, Resolves, Divine, Moral, PoliticalWould suffer his lazy rider to bestride his patie: back, with his hands and whip to wale his flesh, and with his heels to dig into his hungry bowels?
      • 2002: Hal Rothman, Neon Metropolis: How Las Vegas Started the Twenty-First CenturyWhen faced with an adulthood that offered few options, grinding poverty and marriage to a man who drank too much and came home to wale on his own family or...no beatings.
    2. To give a surface a texture of wales.

    Origin 2

    Middle English wal, wale, from Old Norse val ("choice"), from Proto-Germanic *walą, *walō ("desire, choice"), from Proto-Indo-European *(e)welə- ("to choose, wish"). Akin to Old Norse velja ("to choose"), Old High German wala "choice" (German wählen "to choose"), Old English willan ("to want"). More at will.



    (plural wales)
    1. Something selected as being the best, preference; choice.


    1. to choose, select.


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