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

Some of that water is being diverted into Lake Pontchartrain, which then drains into the Mississippi Sound -- diluting the mix of freshwater and salt water with gallons upon gallons of freshwater. Fox News, "Mississippi Gulf Coast fishermen struggling as flooding disaster wipes out marine life," 7 June 2019 However, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed freezing mileage targets at about 37 miles per gallon for cars after 2020. William Thornton |,, "Most of Alabama’s automakers want Trump to rethink emissions standards," 7 June 2019 Wisconsin currently imposes a 32.9-cent per gallon gas tax, 11th highest in the country. Todd Richmond, Twin Cities, "Finance committee OKs Republican road-funding plan," 6 June 2019 At the first sign of growth, mix 3/4 cup bleach with one gallon of water. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in the Mustiest Corners of Your House," 6 Feb. 2019 Aside from nearly drowning myself from the inside out with gallons of water, my main tactic in cold minimization is to take Emergen-C two to four times a day. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "I Want to Believe That Emergen-C Will Make Me Immortal," 22 June 2018 Buckley turned to see a beefy African American man behind him with a gallon of milk. Washington Post, "In the Army and the Klan, he hated Muslims.," 5 June 2018 Hurricane Harvey delivered winds in excess of 130 mph, with gallons of rain flooding several parts of the city. Mark Elibert, Billboard, "Trae Tha Truth Talks Embracing His Role as Houston's 'Hometown Hero,' Premieres 'Better Dayz' Feat. T.I. & RaRa," 15 Mar. 2018 Philadelphia, which celebrated its Super Bowl win with gallons of free Bud Light, remains unimpressed. Sarah Rense, Esquire, "Watch Normal Human Male Tom Brady Chug a Beer in One Second," 13 Mar. 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

12 Jun 2019

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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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gallon

Spanish Central: Translation of gallon

Nglish: Translation of gallon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gallon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gallon

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