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

While car fuel at the pump in Venezuela is nearly free, shortages force logistics companies to make up the shortfall on the black market, where a gallon of gasoline costs up to $6.50, or nearly three times the average price in the United States. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, "A Fuel Shortage Is Crippling Agriculture in Venezuela," 6 July 2019 Westbrooks said a plane such as the HiFly Airbus would dump as much as 30,000 gallons of jet fuel in order to shed weight for a safe landing. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando airport doused in jet fuel when Norwegian plane made emergency landing," 3 July 2019 Revised state estimates now indicate that about 40,000 gallons of water mixed with PFAS foam was released during the June 8 hangar incident. Gregory B. Hladky,, "State officials seek to reassure public on health risks from Farmington River chemical spill," 3 July 2019 The spill occurred just north of the beach and sent an estimated 165,000 gallons of sewage into the water, according to the state Department of Ecology. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Golden Gardens Park closed to swimming, fishing after sewer overflow," 1 July 2019 Authorities confiscated over 1,100 gallons of alcohol from attendees Friday and another 50 gallons on Saturday, DPA reported. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Locals buy up town's beer to keep neo-Nazis from drinking during a festival," 26 June 2019 The incident could shut in about 4.2 million gallons a day of supply, enough to meet about 2.7% of East Coast demand, according to Bloomberg estimates. Time, "An Explosion in Philadelphia Could Make Your Fourth of July More Expensive," 24 June 2019 To put that into perspective, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water a day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan And Swati Gupta, CNN, "India's sixth biggest city is almost entirely out of water," 19 June 2019 Use 2 ounces of the above ingredients per gallon of water for the ready-to-use spray. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "How to make this do-it-yourself organic fertilizer and pest control spray," 18 June 2019

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

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on gallon

What made you want to look up gallon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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