\ ˈgāl How to pronounce gale (audio) \

Definition of gale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a strong current of air:
(1) : a wind from 32 to 63 miles per hour (about 51 to 102 kilometers per hour)
b archaic : breeze
2 : an emotional outburst gales of laughter


biographical name
\ ˈgāl How to pronounce Gale (audio) \

Definition of Gale (Entry 2 of 2)

Zona 1874–1938 American novelist

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Examples of gale in a Sentence


The boat was damaged in a strong gale. The winds approached gale force. The audience erupted in gales of laughter.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jones is a gale force wind on the show, driving it forward with her confidence and cool. Matthew Gilbert,, "The greatest overlooked TV performances of the last 20 years," 30 Aug. 2019 The status means sustained gale force winds are predicted within 72 hours. Chabeli Herrera,, "Hurricane Dorian has Port Canaveral on alert, while cruise lines reschedule itineraries," 28 Aug. 2019 And may there be a gale-force book of his poems in your hand, dear reader. Colin Fleming, Washington Post, "Celebrating Herman Melville, the poet," 26 Aug. 2019 The tropical hardwood trees likely died after being engulfed by the searing hot, gale-force winds containing the volcanic gases, ash, and pumice that would have swept outward after the eruption. Katherine Kornei, Science | AAAS, "‘Mystery’ volcano that cooled the ancient world traced to El Salvador," 16 Aug. 2019 There’s nothing like watching great performers bring gales of laughter to an appreciative audience with their on-stage hijinks. John Fund, National Review, "FBI Lovebirds Is D.C. Satire at Its Best," 16 June 2019 They were showered with gales of confetti and cheerful messages of inclusion. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Kesha and Macklemore delight fans with glitz, love and a dash of the ‘Good Old Days’," 27 June 2018 Half a second after the core of a massive star collapses, a gale of neutrinos streams out, continuing for up to a minute. Quanta Magazine, "A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold," 23 Mar. 2017 Adames hopped in a van and drove through gale-force winds. Los Angeles Times, "Puerto Rico scandal stirs anger and memories of the difficult days after Hurricane Maria," 28 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gale


circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gale


of obscure origin

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Statistics for gale

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for gale

The first known use of gale was circa 1547

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More Definitions for gale



English Language Learners Definition of gale

: a very strong wind
: a sudden occurrence of laughter, tears, etc.


\ ˈgāl How to pronounce gale (audio) \

Kids Definition of gale

1 : a strong wind
2 : a wind of from about 32 to 63 miles per hour (about 51 to 101 kilometers per hour)
3 : an outburst of amusement gales of laughter

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More from Merriam-Webster on gale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gale

Spanish Central: Translation of gale

Nglish: Translation of gale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gale for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gale

Comments on gale

What made you want to look up gale? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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