\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

For more information on these threats, please see products issued by your local weather office, and see High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service for information on gale warnings associated with this system. Carlie Kollath Wells,, "System nearing Gulf becomes better defined, likely to form depression by Saturday," 25 May 2018 Winds are expected to increase across coastal waters late Thursday, prompting a gale warning. Hailey Branson-potts,, "High winds could make driving on the Grapevine tricky," 12 Apr. 2018 TUI Airways Captain Brenda Riepsaame Wassink provided a reminder of just how tricky air travel can be when she was forced to land in Bristol, UK during a storm with gale force winds. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a 757 Land Practically Sideways in Gale Force Winds," 19 Oct. 2018 The effect is something of a gale force, sweeping you along and compelling you to nod your head, without a lot of time to wonder what’s been left off the screen. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "In Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore spares no one — especially self-satisfied liberals," 7 Sep. 2018 Hundreds of people fled to beaches, but even there the flames and choking smoke from the wildfire forced many to swim out to sea despite gale-force winds. Costas Kantouris And Elena Becatoros, Fox News, "Greece to tear down illegal fences for better fire safety," 3 Aug. 2018 Fanned by gale-force winds, the blaze raced through seaside resorts that are a mixture of permanent residences and holiday homes for those living in the capital of Athens. Elena Becatoros, The Seattle Times, "Bodies of 76 killed in deadly Greek wildfires identified," 31 July 2018 The fires, fanned by gale-force winds, spread rapidly through an area of unregulated construction, where houses abut pine forest and tinder-dry brush. Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, "As Anger Grows, Greek Government Announces Fire Aid," 26 July 2018 Your information will be used as described in our Privacy Policy BOSTON (AP) — Desiree Linden splashed her way through icy rain and a near-gale headwind to a Boston Marathon victory on Monday, the first American woman to win the race since 1985. Jimmy Golen, Houston Chronicle, "Desiree Linden wins Boston Marathon, 1st US woman since '85," 16 Apr. 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

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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).


to enclose within walls

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