\ˈgāl \

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)

(2) : fresh gale — see Beaufort Scale Table

b archaic : breeze

2 : an emotional outburst gales of laughter


biographical name
\ˈgāl \

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

As always, consult your doctor: Allison Pearson can induce gales of uncontrollable laughter. Patty Rhule, USA TODAY, "'How Hard Can It Be?' Just ask Kate, who's turning 50 in hilarious, timely new novel," 4 June 2018 But compared to six months ago, the constant gales swirling around Trump no longer look as certain to blow away all of the GOP's traditional midterm advantages. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "Beating Republicans in November will be harder than Democrats thought," 22 May 2018 In the recent rash of nor’easters, the Shore has been spared the worst of onshore gales since winds were mostly out of the north. Anthony R. Wood,, "Coastal storm threat just in time for spring. Could it be 1958 sequel?," 16 Mar. 2018 In April, 1931, a stout ship that had endured howling gales, towering waves and the press of polar ice tied up at a Potomac River dock alongside the boats that took sightseers to Mount Vernon and the Marshall Hall amusement park. John Kelly, Washington Post, "In 1931, Washington tourists could visit Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic flagship," 12 May 2018 The Coast Guard issued these tips to keep boaters safe: Those needing passage through drawbridges should seek access well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds. Maria Clark,, "Coast Guard rescues person on inflatable raft near Dauphin Island, Alabama," 28 May 2018 Federal officials said violent gales higher than 62 mph hit areas in the north, south and east of the country, wrecking homes and uprooting trees, Agence France-Presse reports. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Sand and Thunderstorms Sweep Across India, Leaving More Than 86 Dead," 15 May 2018 Amazingly, no one quits, despite New England weather that ranges from cold gale winds to temperatures in the mid 80s. Stan Grossfeld,, "In a grueling relay, runners carry the burden on behalf of veterans," 10 May 2018 Driven by those ferocious gales from the north, snow became snow super-glued onto the north sides of tree trunks and their branches. Anthony R. Wood,, "Storm aftermath: Why so many trees came down," 5 Mar. 2018

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

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for gale

The first known use of gale was circa 1547

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English Language Learners Definition of gale

: a very strong wind

: a sudden occurrence of laughter, tears, etc.


\ˈgāl \

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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