gallon

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noun gal·lon \ˈga-lən\

Definition of gallon

  1. :  a unit of liquid capacity equal to 231 cubic inches or four quarts — see weight table

Origin and Etymology of 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 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”?).


First Known Use: 13th century


GALLON Defined for English Language Learners

gallon

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noun gal·lon \ˈga-lən\

Definition of gallon for English Language Learners

  • : 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


GALLON Defined for Kids

gallon

play
noun gal·lon \ˈga-lən\

Definition of gallon for Students

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


Medical Dictionary

gallon

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noun gal·lon \ˈgal-ən\

Medical Definition of gallon

  1. 1:  a United States unit of liquid capacity equal to four quarts or 231 cubic inches or 3.785 liters

  2. 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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