gal·​ley | \ ˈga-lē How to pronounce galley (audio) \
plural galleys

Definition of galley

1 : a ship or boat propelled solely or chiefly by oars: such as
a : a long low ship used for war and trading especially in the Mediterranean Sea from the Middle Ages to the 19th century also : galleass
b : a warship of classical antiquity — compare bireme, trireme
c : a large open boat (such as a gig) formerly used in England
2 : the kitchen and cooking apparatus especially of a ship or airplane
3a : an oblong tray to hold especially a single column of set type
b : a proof of typeset matter especially in a single column before being made into pages

Illustration of galley

Illustration of galley

galley 1a

Examples of galley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ice-capable fishing boats offer basic expedition-style accommodations: communal bunk space, galley, shared toilet, and local cuisine. Jennifer Hayes, National Geographic, "Inside the fragile world of Québec’s harp seals," 19 Dec. 2019 Preliminary investigations have suggested the fire did not start in the engine room, and there are growing signs the origin was in the galley area. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, "California boat fire: Conception wasn’t built to charge dozens of phones, batteries and cameras. Did this cause the blaze?," 20 Sep. 2019 The magic vessel could be a yacht or a galley, a porpoise or a mermaid. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "In Mark Haddon’s “The Porpoise,” Storytelling Is an Instrument of Violence and Solace," 13 June 2019 Dozens of her friends have attended the trial, and on Wednesday, the court galley was full of students and bystanders interested in the outcome of the case. Emilie Eaton,, "Prosecutors urge jury to convict boyfriend in death of Trinity University student," 11 Dec. 2019 The first mayday call from the captain was transmitted at 3:14 a.m. Schwartz refused to answer follow-up questions, including whether that crew member was assigned to night watch and went back to sleep after inspecting the galley. Washington Post, "Snoozing crew raises specter of criminal charge in boat fire," 13 Sep. 2019 The passengers and one crew member were in the sleeping area one level below the galley. Los Angeles Times, "Was the California boat fire a crime? Investigators search for answers," 9 Sep. 2019 The first New York Times employee book sale, held in 1993, repurposed stray galleys and uncorrected proofs into items that colleagues could purchase at a steep discount for charitable purposes. John Otis, New York Times, "The One Assignment for Everyone at The Times: The Neediest Cases," 2 Dec. 2019 Everyone at my publishing house who read the drafts and then galleys and then final, who happened to be native English speakers, and who are trained to look for obvious flaws, didn’t catch that one. Sarah Menkedick, Longreads, "The First Book," 24 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'galley.' 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 galley

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for galley

Middle English galeie, galey, borrowed from Anglo-French galee, galeie (continental Old French galee, galie), borrowed (probably in part via Upper Italian dialects) from Middle Greek galéa, after galéa "the shark Galeorhinus galeus," probably re-formation of Greek galeós, a name for the same fish, of uncertain origin

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Time Traveler for galley

Time Traveler

The first known use of galley was in the 13th century

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Statistics for galley

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Galley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for galley


How to pronounce galley (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of galley

: the kitchen of a ship or airplane
: a long, low ship that was moved by oars and sails and that was used in ancient times by the Egyptians, Greeks, and others


gal·​ley | \ ˈga-lē How to pronounce galley (audio) \
plural galleys

Kids Definition of galley

1 : a large low ship of olden times moved by oars and sails
2 : the kitchen especially of a ship or an airplane

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