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 People picking up food were also given a bag of cereal and some resealable bags, a ham, a gallon of milk, and finally a turkey and pumpkin pie. Washington Post, "“We both lost our jobs. ... We just started DoorDashing, like, four days ago.”," 25 Nov. 2020 Every fall, without fail, Jeff pulls into our driveway with gallon jugs of fresh-pressed cider. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Heller family emerges from tragedy with a lesson for us all," 24 Nov. 2020 A year ago the national average stood nearly 50 cents a gallon higher at $2.61. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Sub-$2 gas: Coming to a gas station near you," 31 Oct. 2020 The national average price of gasoline was $2.18 a gallon on Tuesday, down 49 cents from a year earlier, according to AAA. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Gas tax hikes pile up: States become desperate for road repair revenue as COVID-19 reduces driving," 23 Sep. 2020 Later, the distillery started selling individual bottles of hand sanitizer in two, four, 16 and 32 ounce containers, as well as gallon bottles. al, "Alabama distillery ranked one of the nation’s best new craft distilleries in USA Today poll," 26 Oct. 2020 Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball Paint in Estate Emulsion: $110 per gallon 4. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "TikTok Studios, Zoom Rooms and Co-Working Spaces Are the New Must-Have Home Amenities," 22 Oct. 2020 Scrape batter into piping bag (or gallon-size resealable bag) and let rest 20 min. Mashti Malone's Ice Cream, Woman's Day, "Mashti Malone’s Zoolbia," 9 Oct. 2020 Calista McRae, a volunteer who patrols for injured and dead birds most mornings throughout the year, prepared paper bags (for injured birds) and plastic gallon bags (for dead ones). Jeffery Jones, National Geographic, "Birds are crashing into NYC buildings. Record numbers are being rescued.," 8 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for gallon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gallon

Last Updated

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gallon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce gallon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gallon

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

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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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