\ ˈhāl How to pronounce hale (audio) \

Definition of hale

 (Entry 1 of 6)

: free from defect, disease, or infirmity : sound also : retaining exceptional health and vigor a hale and hearty old man


haled; haling

Definition of hale (Entry 2 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : haul, pull
2 : to compel to go haled her into court


biographical name (1)
\ ˈhāl How to pronounce Hale (audio) \

Definition of Hale (Entry 3 of 6)

Edward Everett 1822–1909 American Unitarian clergyman and writer


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hale (Entry 4 of 6)

George Ellery 1868–1938 American astronomer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Hale (Entry 5 of 6)

Sir Matthew 1609–1676 English jurist


biographical name (4)

Definition of Hale (Entry 6 of 6)

Nathan 1755–1776 American Revolutionary hero

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Synonyms & Antonyms for hale

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for hale


healthy, sound, wholesome, robust, hale, well mean enjoying or indicative of good health. healthy implies full strength and vigor as well as freedom from signs of disease. a healthy family sound emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction. a sound heart wholesome implies appearance and behavior indicating soundness and balance. a face with a wholesome glow robust implies the opposite of all that is delicate or sickly. a lively, robust little boy hale applies particularly to robustness in old age. still hale at the age of eighty well implies merely freedom from disease or illness. she has never been a well person

What's the Difference Between hale,healthy, sound, and robust?


When you need a word to describe someone or something in good health, you might pick hale or a synonym such as healthy, sound, or robust. Of those terms, healthy is the most general, implying full strength and vigor or simply freedom from signs of disease. Sound generally emphasizes the complete absence of defects of mind or body. Robust implies the opposite of all that is delicate or sickly and usually suggests muscular strength as well as the ability to work or play long and hard. Hale applies especially to robustness in later life. The phrase "hale and hearty" is often used to describe an older person who retains the physical qualities of youth.

Examples of hale in a Sentence

Adjective still hale and strong at 80, often outdoing his younger golfing buddies Verb the fishermen haled the huge net onto the deck of the ship
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Plummer looked and acted hale enough to thrive for another ten or 15 or who knows how many years, working all the way to the final curtain. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, "The Adoration of Christopher Plummer," 5 Feb. 2021 Carved or whole pumpkins, squashes, gourds, hale bales, corn stalks and similar items can be dropped off at the 1700 Averill Road far from 9 a.m. to noon. chicagotribune.com, "Elgin News Digest," 30 Oct. 2020 Gabriel is enraged that John, the child of a doomed love in Elizabeth’s youth, is hale and bound for a life in the church, while his biological son, Roy, is defiant and badly wounded. New York Times, "What the Church Meant for James Baldwin," 4 Dec. 2020 The earlier example, Kruse says, was in 1920, when the Republican ticket of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge defeated the Democratic ticket of James M. Cox and a young, hale, callow Franklin Roosevelt. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, "In Search of Healing," 26 Oct. 2020 Trump has appeared hale in his public appearances since reemerging from quarantine, though at moments during his economic address on Wednesday his voice was raspy. Arkansas Online, "Dueling town halls for Trump, Biden after debate plan nixed," 15 Oct. 2020 Trump has appeared hale in his public appearances since reemerging from quarantine, though at moments during his economic address on Wednesday his voice was raspy. Zeke Miller, Bill Barrow, chicagotribune.com, "In lieu of debate, Donald Trump, Joe Biden to compete for viewers in TV town halls tonight," 15 Oct. 2020 Max passed through Marketing with its many Whitewomen and arrived at Product, with its many tall and hale Whitemen. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "First Look: David Yoon's adult debut Version Zero is the Silicon Valley story of your nightmares," 3 Sep. 2020 As the weeks drag on, the hale clarity of my normal self is receding. Bathsheba Demuth, The Atlantic, "Siberia’s Malady Is the Same as Mine," 28 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even though no one is being haled into court, parents still need to behave civilly. Paul Sullivan, New York Times, "The Pandemic Has Slowed the Divorce Process. Here’s What to Expect.," 8 May 2020 Then an employer who attempts union-busting could be haled into court and face an injunction against demoting or firing union organizers, followed by a trial and possibly heavy damages. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Dealt a body blow by the Supreme Court, unions ponder: Where do we go from here?," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hale.' 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 hale


14th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hale


partly from Middle English (northern) hale, from Old English hāl; partly from Middle English hail, from Old Norse heill — more at whole


Middle English halen, from Anglo-French haler, aler — more at haul

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Learn More about hale

Time Traveler for hale

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Hale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hale. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for hale



English Language Learners Definition of hale

: healthy and strong


\ ˈhāl How to pronounce hale (audio) \

Kids Definition of hale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: strong and healthy a hale and hearty man


haled; haling

Kids Definition of hale (Entry 2 of 2)

: to force to go The judge haled them into court.

More from Merriam-Webster on hale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hale

Nglish: Translation of hale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hale for Arabic Speakers

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