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

Example Sentences

The boat was damaged in a strong gale. The winds approached gale force. The audience erupted in gales of laughter.
Recent Examples on the Web Goose the throttle at low rpm, and the supercharger delivers instantaneous boost, ramping up the torque until the turbocharger blows a gale. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 2 Mar. 2023 One gust does not a gale make, of course, but on Friday, a gust was measured at 42 mph at Reagan National Airport, where Washington’s official readings are made. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2023 As the gale intensified, three bulky ships ran aground on the sands of Streedagh Strand, north of Sligo. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2023 In a chart linking wind speeds to observable effects, the National Weather Service said a sustained speed between 39 and 46 mph qualifies as a gale, which can break small branches and impede walking. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2023 High Seas Forecasts has issued gale and hurricane-force wind warnings for parts of the mid-Atlantic. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 8 Dec. 2022 Facing a cold and hurling gale, Quinn pushed in a 39-yard kick to cut the lead to a single point. Evan Dudley, al, 12 Nov. 2022 With the help of government grants, Newell designed and patented a submersible raft that minimized perturbations when lowered 10 to 12 feet under the waves, even in gale winds. Ellen Ruppel Shell, Scientific American, 1 May 2022 As a caged Logain is marched into Tar Valon, the false Dragon locks eyes with Mat before breaking into a chilling smile and a disquieting gale of laughter. Randall Colburn,, 3 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


of obscure origin

First Known Use

circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of gale was circa 1547

Dictionary Entries Near gale

Cite this Entry

“Gale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a strong current of air
especially : a wind of from 32 to 63 miles (about 51 to 101 kilometers) per hour
: an emotional outburst
gales of laughter

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Zona 1874–1938 American novelist

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