gal·​ley-west ˌga-lē-ˈwest How to pronounce galley-west (audio)
: into destruction or confusion
was knocked galley-west

Word History


variant of English dialect (Cheshire, Lancashire) colley-west, collywesson "contrary, in the opposite direction, askew," of uncertain origin

Note: The dialect word colley-west, etc., is not attested before the 19th century, but a single instance of Collie weston ward occurs in William Harrisonʼs Description of England, printed in 1587 as part of Holinshedʼs Chronicles: " … the mandilion worne to Collie weston ward." (The mandilion was a sort of pullover jacket, open on the sides, worn by men; a portrait of Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester, survives in which a mandilion is worn "Collie weston ward," rotated a quarter turn so that the sleeves hang down the front and back.) "Collie weston" is presumably the village of Collyweston in Northamptonshire, though the allusion is obscure.

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of galley-west was in 1875


Dictionary Entries Near galley-west

Cite this Entry

“Galley-west.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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