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 Industry veterans say that strategy helped mitigate the hit to consumers as gasoline prices plunged after hitting $5.02 a gallon in June 2022. Matt Egan, CNN, 27 Sep. 2023 Meanwhile, its clostridium has produced over 50 million gallons of ethanol, avoiding more than 250,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Lauren Oster, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Sep. 2023 In California, gas prices have climbed more than 10 percent in just the last month, to an average of $5.79 per gallon. Santul Nerkar, New York Times, 20 Sep. 2023 After a years-long fight over the bottled water operation in the San Bernardino National Forest, California water regulators ruled Tuesday that the company must stop taking millions of gallons through its pipelines. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2023 The climb has helped push average gasoline prices in the U.S. to $3.88 a gallon, from $3.68 a year ago. WSJ, 18 Sep. 2023 The plan is to expand the plant’s average capacity to 50 million gallons a day, with the ability to handle higher peak flows. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2023 Since August 2016, shuttles have traveled more than 1 million miles, completed 1.2 million trips and saved 120,000 gallons of gas, according to the company. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Sep. 2023 In Microsoft’s latest environmental report, the company revealed that its global water consumption spiked by more than a third from 2021 to 2022, the equivalent of which could fill more than 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools at nearly 1.7 billion gallons, as The Associated Press reports. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 9 Sep. 2023 See More

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 4 Oct. 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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