\ 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 Neighbors said that not so long ago, Tony seemed hale—a stocky figure walking down the sidewalk in a tank top, like a pint-size, sure-stepping Marlon Brando. Wired, "A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect," 17 Sep. 2019 At 98, the last surviving worker remains relatively hale and won’t retire. The Economist, "The last man to have built Mount Rushmore," 1 Aug. 2019 Just to pick and choose a few more examples, these hard and fast doublets are anything but fine and dandy, tip top, well and good, hale and hearty and fair and just. Redundancies are the junk food of our language. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Redundancies are now the junk food of our language," 20 July 2019 These tropes are resistant to the facts on the ground, where the art form is hale and hearty (albeit a little hard up for cash), but one formerly common narrative of decline has largely disappeared in the face of incontrovertible strength. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "A wave of great jazz singers is headed for the Bay Area," 17 July 2019 Like Hockney himself, hale and fruitful at the age of eighty-one, the film has weathered well. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Dead Don’t Die” Does the Zombie Genre to Death," 14 June 2019 The doctor was a large, hale man, with a coxcomb of thinning red hair. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 Galatasaray'ın ertelenmiş sorunları birike birike bu hale geldi. SI.com, "Galatasaray's New President Eyes Leicester City Outcast in January Loan Move," 24 Jan. 2018 And if a few extra days of rest now mean that Chapman will be hearty and hale in October, that silver lining may look more like a brass ring. New York Times, "Yankees, With No Lead to Protect Against the Indians, Get to Rest Aroldis Chapman," 13 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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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Statistics for hale

Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for hale

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

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More Definitions for hale

How to pronounce Hale (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hale

Spanish Central: Translation of hale

Nglish: Translation of hale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hale for Arabic Speakers

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a calculated move

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