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

Examples of gallon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The main culprit is a defunct wastewater facility along the coast in Baja California, about 6 miles south of the border, that spews about 35 million gallons of raw sewage a day into the Pacific Ocean. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 June 2024 The federal grant buses alone will save about 70,000 gallons of diesel fuel, according to EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Cesar Zapata. Rebecca Noel, Charlotte Observer, 7 June 2024 The new standards will save almost 70 billion gallons of gasoline through 2050, preventing more than 710 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by midcentury, the Biden administration said. Matthew Daly, Chicago Tribune, 7 June 2024 As a result, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says the per capita availability of water has fallen to just 1 to 3 liters (0.26 to 0.8 gallons) per person per day. Daniel Wood, NPR, 1 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for gallon 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gallon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 16 Jun. 2024.

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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