gal·​lon | \ ˈga-lən How to pronounce gallon (audio) \

Definition of gallon

: a unit of liquid capacity equal to 231 cubic inches or four quarts — see Weights and Measures Table

Examples of gallon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The detailed engineering phase of the project, which is currently estimated to be $4.42 million, began with CT Consultants recommending the installation of a 1.5-million-gallon, cast-in-place concrete tank. John Benson, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2021 Now, with gasoline topping $6 a gallon at some Los Angeles-area stations, a bit of sour’s been added to the mix. Record-high gasoline and diesel prices are combusting driver budgets across the land, small car or large. Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2021 It is displayed along highways across the country, including in areas where a gallon has climbed as high as $7.59. New York Times, 20 Nov. 2021 The locals brought a gallon of hot milk as a gift to mark the occasion. Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2021 Wholesale prices for 87-octane conventional gasoline are about 15 cents a gallon cheaper in New York than a blend of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gerson Freitas Jr,, 15 Nov. 2021 Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread costs more. NBC News, 14 Nov. 2021 At one Valero station in California's Redwood City, a gallon of regular unleaded was at $4.21. CBS News, 12 Nov. 2021 Atlanta gas prices are up an average of $1.34 a gallon, compared to a $1.29-a-gallon increase nationally, according to Gas Buddy. Michael E. Kanell, ajc, 11 Nov. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gallon

Middle English galun, galoun, galon, a liquid measure, borrowed from Anglo-French galun, galon, jalon, from Old French jal-, base of jaloie "container for liquids, bucket" (going back to Vulgar Latin *gallēta, of uncertain origin) + -on, diminutive or particularizing suffix, going back to Latin -ō, -ōn-, suffix of persons with a prominent feature

Note: Presumed *gallēta (attested as Medieval Latin galeta "wine vessel, liquid measure" in 11th-century texts) has been linked to several classical Greek words for containers, as kálathos "kind of basket, wine cooler," kēlástra "milk pail" (so glossed by Hesychius), though none of these fit formally; on the other hand, kēlḗtēs, kalḗtēs "sufferer from a hernia" (from kḗlē, kálē "tumor, hernia"; see -cele) fits formally but requires a contextual and semantic leap ("one swollen or ruptured" > "container"?).

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

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gallon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for gallon



English Language Learners Definition of gallon

: a unit of liquid measurement equal to four U.S. quarts or 3.785 liters
: a unit of liquid measurement equal to four British quarts or 4.546 liters


gal·​lon | \ ˈga-lən How to pronounce gallon (audio) \

Kids Definition of gallon

: a unit of liquid capacity equal to four quarts (about 3.8 liters)


gal·​lon | \ ˈgal-ən How to pronounce gallon (audio) \

Medical Definition of gallon

1 : a United States unit of liquid capacity equal to four quarts or 231 cubic inches or 3.785 liters
2 : a British unit of liquid and dry capacity equal to four quarts or 277.42 cubic inches or 4.544 liters

called also imperial gallon

More from Merriam-Webster on gallon

Nglish: Translation of gallon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gallon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gallon


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