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 This 800-square-foot prewar co-op has a foyer, hardwood floors, two exposures and a galley kitchen with white appliances in a non-doorman elevator building with a live-in superintendent. New York Times, "Homes That Sold for Around $450,000," 26 Apr. 2020 When ground time allows, galleys are cleaned, as are tray tables. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Coronavirus outbreak: What Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and airlines are doing to fight it," 6 Mar. 2020 The lilliputian space is surprisingly chockablock with a galley kitchen that fits a prep station, a gas range and oven, a flat-top and a deep fryer, but more than two people inside turns it into a game of Tetris. Leena Trivedi-grenier,, "Kayma Eatery, an Algerian couple’s American Dream," 17 Jan. 2020 Transcontinental, Hawaii and international flights see an even deeper level of cleaning that includes cleaning of lavatories, tray tables and galley areas, as well as any surface areas throughout the aircraft. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Coronavirus outbreak: What Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and airlines are doing to fight it," 6 Mar. 2020 At 0218 a terrible roaring sound was heard followed almost immediately by a very heavy blow against the side of the building and about three inches of water appeared in the galley recreation hall and passageway . . . Anchorage Daily News, "The demise of Scotch Cap lighthouse," 21 Dec. 2019 Oruç spent two terrible years as a galley slave on one of the knights’ ships but eventually managed to escape. National Geographic, "This 16th-century corsair was the most feared pirate of the Mediterranean," 8 Oct. 2019 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

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

9 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Galley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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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