ga·​belle gə-ˈbel How to pronounce gabelle (audio)
: a tax on salt levied in France prior to 1790

Word History


Middle English gabell, borrowed from Middle French gabelle, going back to Old French, "tax on certain commodities," borrowed from Italian gabella, borrowed from Arabic qabāla "tribute," derivative of qabila "receive"

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gabelle was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near gabelle

Cite this Entry

“Gabelle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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