gal·lon | \ˈga-lən \

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 general rule is about one teaspoon of loose-leaf tea per 1 cup of water; for large quantities, aim for 1 to 1½ ounces of tea per gallon of water. Becky Krystal, charlotteobserver, "Sip your way through summer with a batch of homemade iced tea," 12 June 2018 The regular Expedition is EPA-rated at 17 miles per gallon, 24 mpg in the city and 20 mpg overall. Aaron Bragman, USA TODAY, "Review: Ford's revamped Expedition SUV moves to the front of the pack," 13 July 2018 The Obama rule would have required automakers to roughly double the fuel economy of new cars, S.U.V.s and light trucks by 2025, achieving an average of more than 50 miles per gallon. New York Times, "How Trump’s Policy Decisions Undermine the Industries He Pledged to Help," 4 July 2018 In Indiana the average is even higher at $2.98 per gallon, the 14th-highest in the nation. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "4th of July gas prices reach four-year high as experts predict record number of travelers," 4 July 2018 The bicycles are equipped with 49cc, 4-stroke engines that get about 150 miles per gallon. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Milwaukee Police add motorized, locally built 'Cheata Bike' to their relaunched bicycle patrol," 2 July 2018 The average per-gallon price for gas in the United States was $2.85, a jump of 63 cents from a year ago, according to AAA. David Nakamura, Washington Post, "Trump presses Saudis to increase oil production in face of rising gas prices," 30 June 2018 That's the highest Independence Day price since 2014, when the national average reached $3.66 per gallon. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Gasoline prices surge ahead of July 4," 28 June 2018 Last November, the base excise tax on gasoline increased by 12 cents per gallon. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "What you need to know about California's gas tax repeal initiative," 25 June 2018

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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Statistics for gallon

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for gallon

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of gallon

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


gal·lon | \ˈgal-ən \

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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