gal·​lon ˈga-lən How to pronounce gallon (audio)
: a unit of liquid capacity equal to 231 cubic inches or four quarts see Weights and Measures Table

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Their process has the potential to bring the algal biofuel price to below $5 per gallon from today’s exorbitant $33 per gallon. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Mar. 2023 Bandit9 claims its motorcycle will get 156 miles per gallon. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 7 Mar. 2023 The average gas price is now $3.46 per gallon for regular unleaded, AAA said. Chandra Fleming, Detroit Free Press, 6 Mar. 2023 President Barack Obama built on those standards two years later, passing regulations that would have pushed the average to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, though that mandate has since been rolled back. Globe Staff,, 25 Feb. 2023 Prices have fallen in recent months after spiking to a statewide average of about $6.40 in the early fall, at least $2.60 more per gallon than drivers nationwide were paying at the time. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Feb. 2023 Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit group that Newsom has frequently cited when criticizing oil companies, wants that threshold to be anytime oil company profits exceed 50 cents per gallon. CBS News, 23 Feb. 2023 In the last 20 years, the big five oil refiners have average profits of 32 cents per gallon, Court said. Adam Beam, ajc, 23 Feb. 2023 The gasoline equivalent cost for this electricity cost would be just under $2.60 per gallon. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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"?).

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near gallon

Cite this Entry

“Gallon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


gal·​lon ˈgal-ən How to pronounce gallon (audio)
: a unit of liquid capacity equal to 231 cubic inches or four quarts see measure

Medical Definition


gal·​lon ˈgal-ən How to pronounce gallon (audio)
: a United States unit of liquid capacity equal to four quarts or 231 cubic inches or 3.785 liters
: 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

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