\ 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

Noun 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 To his fiercest detractors, these missteps were unforgivable, though how much of their implacability was politics in the conservative gale and how much morality is impossible to say. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Catching the Wind’ Review: The Liberal Lion in Full," 23 Oct. 2020 Smoke had just begun to fill the forest that Friday, Sept. 4, carried by winds that would soon gather into a horrific gale over Labor Day, fanning several Oregon wildfires into sheer devastation. oregonlive, "Opal Creek burned badly by wildfires, Jawbone Flats almost completely destroyed," 6 Oct. 2020 Jacklin shot an opening-round 71 — the only subpar score that Thursday — in a gale that raged across young, controversial Hazeltine National. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Tony Jacklin has great memories of winning U.S. Open at Hazeltine in 1970," 15 Sep. 2020 In dramatic night-time scenes, camp inhabitants fled fires that broke out at multiple points and were fanned by gale-force winds, gutting much of the facility and surrounding hillside olive groves. Author: Elena Becatoros, Derek Gatopoulos, Anchorage Daily News, "Fire sweeps through Europe’s largest refugee camp in Greece during coronavirus lockdown," 9 Sep. 2020 In dramatic scenes early Wednesday, men, women and children fled fires that broke out during the night at multiple points and were fanned by gale-force winds. Star Tribune, "New fire breaks out in crowded refugee camp on Greek island," 9 Sep. 2020 But that’s a far cry from the the hurricane-force gale with gusts up to 99 mph that hit the area on Tuesday. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s winds are dying down, but 110,000 still don’t have power," 9 Sep. 2020 Once winds reach a certain gale force, everyone must be brought inside a secure area (in this case, Building 320) and remain on lockdown until the danger subsides. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "NASA versus Katrina: August 29, 2005," 7 Sep. 2020 That's just one tier below one tier below gale-level winds on the scale. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "A child in Taiwan was caught in a kite and swept high into the air," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for gale

Time Traveler

The first known use of gale was circa 1547

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Statistics for gale

Last Updated

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for gale


How to pronounce Gale (audio)

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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Comments on gale

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