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 The brand recommends adding a scoop of OxiClean (filled to line two or four) to a gallon of water, stirring until dissolved, then adding clothes, allowing to soak for one to six hours depending on how severe the stain. Southern Living, "The Best Laundry Spot Removers on Amazon for Every Type of Stain," 16 Apr. 2021 And nothing came close in our test for sucking up a gallon of water: 2.2 seconds, twice as fast as any other machine in the test. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Small Shop Vacuums, Tested," 14 Apr. 2021 This delicious, simple dish is made by drowning a large crab in a gallon of butter-garlic sauce, which seeps into every nook and cranny and coats every inch of flesh. CNN, "The world's 50 best foods," 13 Apr. 2021 Accordingly, these farmers are focused on how to grow more pounds of food per gallon and ounce of fertilizer applied to their soil and crops. Nav Athwal, Forbes, "How Algae Can Help Feed The World," 12 Apr. 2021 House Democrats' transportation funding bill would raise the tax on a gallon of gas by 5 cents over the next four years. Star Tribune, "Minnesota House DFL proposes gas tax increase," 10 Apr. 2021 If the cushions or pillows are not removable, prepare a solution of ¼ cup of mild dish soap to a gallon of water, and clean them seam to seam using a soft-bristle brush. Washington Post, "Our homes have taken a beating over the past year. Here’s how to undo the damage.," 25 Mar. 2021 The three of us sat at an outdoor café in Tribeca and drank a gallon or two of rosé. Hugo Lindgren, Curbed, "Michael Sorkin Taught Me How to Look at New York," 22 Mar. 2021 Some of those involved loading books or rocks into a backpack for pushups, or grabbing gallon water jugs or cinder blocks as weights. Matt Murschel,, "College football regroups after COVID-19 season of uncertainty," 14 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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"?).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gallon

Time Traveler for gallon

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for gallon

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gallon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gallon



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!