gall

noun (1)
\ˈgȯl \

Definition of gall 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : bile especially : bile obtained from an animal and used in the arts or medicine

b : something bitter to endure

c : bitterness of spirit : rancor

2 : brazen boldness coupled with impudent assurance and insolence had the gall to think that he could replace her

gall

noun (2)

Definition of gall (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : a skin sore caused by chronic irritation

b : a cause or state of exasperation

2 archaic : flaw

gall

verb
galled; galling; galls

Definition of gall (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to fret and wear away by friction : chafe the loose saddle galled the horse's back the galling of a metal bearing

2 : irritate, vex sarcasm galls her

intransitive verb

1 : to become sore or worn by rubbing

gall

noun (3)

Definition of gall (Entry 4 of 4)

: an abnormal outgrowth of plant tissue usually due to insect or mite parasites or fungi and sometimes forming an important source of tannin — see gall wasp illustration

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Noun (1)

temerity, audacity, hardihood, effrontery, nerve, cheek, gall, chutzpah mean conspicuous or flagrant boldness. temerity suggests boldness arising from rashness and contempt of danger. had the temerity to refuse audacity implies a disregard of restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence. an entrepreneur with audacity and vision hardihood suggests firmness in daring and defiance. admired for her hardihood effrontery implies shameless, insolent disregard of propriety or courtesy. outraged at his effrontery nerve, cheek, gall, and chutzpah are informal equivalents for effrontery. the nerve of that guy has the cheek to call herself a singer had the gall to demand proof the chutzpah needed for a career in show business

Examples of gall in a Sentence

Verb

It galls me that such a small group of people can have so much power. move that rope so the sharp edge of the hull doesn't gall it

First Known Use of gall

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gall

Noun (1)

Middle English galle, going back to Old English gealla, galla, going back to Germanic *gallōn-, galla- (whence Old High German & Old Saxon galla, Old Norse gall), going back to Indo-European *ǵholh3-n- (whence, without the suffix, Greek cholḗ "bile, bitter hatred," chólos "bitter hatred, wrath," Avestan zāra- "bile"), a derivative of *ǵhelh3- "green, yellow" — more at yellow entry 1

Note: The sense "boldness," first attested in the U.S. in the second half of the 19th century, is perhaps of independent origin.

Noun (2)

Middle English galle "sore on the skin, stain, evil, barren or wet spot in a field (in names)," probably in part going back to Anglian Old English *galla (West Saxon gealla) "sore on the skin of a horse," in part borrowed from Middle Low German galle "swelling in a joint, blastodisc, barren place," both nouns going back to Germanic *gallan- (whence also Old Norse galli "fault, flaw"), perhaps going back to an Indo-European base *ǵholH-, whence, from the derivative *ǵholH-r-, Norwegian galder "windgall," Old Irish galar "disease, pain," Welsh galar "mourning, grief"

Note: Perhaps additionally connected are Lithuanian žalà "harm, damage" (from *ǵholH-eh2), Hittite kallar "nefarious thing, demon" (from *ǵholH-ro-), Old Church Slavic zŭlŭ "bad, evil" (from zero-grade *ǵhlH-o-). According to an older hypothesis the Germanic words are a borrowing from Latin galla "gallnut, oak apple" (see gall entry 4), but given the wide distribution and range of meanings of the Germanic words, this appears unlikely.

Verb

Middle English gallen, in part derivative of galle gall entry 2, in part borrowed from Middle French galer "to scratch, rub, mount an attack on," derivative of gale "gallnut, callus," borrowed from Latin galla gall entry 4

Noun (3)

Middle English galle, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin galla "gallnut, oak apple," of obscure origin

Note: Latin galla cannot be akin to gall entry 2 if the latter does in fact descend from Indo-European *ǵholH-, and in any case the basic meaning of galla appears to be "excrescence" rather than "sore, blight."

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Time Traveler for gall

The first known use of gall was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for gall

gall

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gall

: to make (someone) feel annoyed or angry

gall

noun
\ˈgȯl \

Kids Definition of gall

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : extreme boldness or rudeness She had the gall to return my gift.

2 : bile especially when obtained from an animal for use in the arts or medicine

gall

noun

Kids Definition of gall (Entry 2 of 4)

: a sore spot (as on a horse's back) caused by rubbing

gall

verb
galled; galling

Kids Definition of gall (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : to make sore by rubbing

2 : to annoy or make angry His selfishness just galls me.

gall

noun

Kids Definition of gall (Entry 4 of 4)

: an abnormal swelling or growth on a twig or leaf

gall

noun
\ˈgȯl \

Medical Definition of gall 

(Entry 1 of 4)

: bile especially : bile obtained from an animal and used in the arts or medicine

gall

noun

Medical Definition of gall (Entry 2 of 4)

: a skin sore caused by chronic irritation

Medical Definition of gall (Entry 3 of 4)

: to rub and wear away by friction : chafe the loose saddle galled the horse's back

gall

noun

Medical Definition of gall (Entry 4 of 4)

: a swelling of plant tissue usually due to fungi or insect parasites and sometimes forming an important source of tannin

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Comments on gall

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