\ 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

Dozens of people joined the search for Myers, although efforts were hampered by poor weather conditions, including gales and snow in some areas. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Body found in search for missing British hiker in New Zealand," 11 June 2019 Winds had been blowing at gale-force levels, and no one who fell overboard could have survived the freezing water. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 Despite the howling gales and thunder and lightning, Zwart was able to land the plane safely after circling the airport for more than hour. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 The 11-acre East Island was part of the French Frigate Shoals—the largest atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian islands—and fell victim to Hurricane Walaka, which battered the state with Category 3 gales earlier this month. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Remote Hawaiian Island Disappeared Completely Following a Hurricane," 24 Oct. 2018 More than a century of sub-zero winter gales had battered the original structure, causing it to lean slightly toward the west. Joanna Bober, ELLE Decor, "Country Fresh," 5 July 2012 The gale has a 10 percent chance of turning back into a cyclone in the next couple days, according to the National Hurricane Center's 2 p.m. update. Alex Harris And Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "21,000 homes, businesses without power as Hurricane Beryl's remains sweep Puerto Rico," 9 July 2018 Last week, a gale out of the northwest put sea conditions for the opener in doubt. Tom Stienstra,, "Salmon season opens with limit catches for just about everyone," 18 June 2018 In our house, windfall—make that pure windfall—is when free hardwood comes your way after heavy snowfall, storm, or gale. Popular Mechanics, "When Storms Fell the Trees, Father and Son Make the Most of the Mess," 13 Oct. 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

24 Jun 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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