wale

noun (1)
\ ˈwāl How to pronounce wale (audio) \

Definition of wale

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a streak or ridge made on the skin especially by the stroke of a whip : welt
b : a narrow raised surface : ridge
2 : any of a number of strakes usually of extra thick and strong planks in the sides of a wooden ship usually used in plural
3a : one of a series of even ribs in a fabric
b : the texture especially of a fabric
4 : a horizontal constructional member (as of timber or steel) used for bracing vertical members

wale

verb (1)
waled; waling

Definition of wale (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to mark with welts wale the skin

wale

noun (2)

Definition of wale (Entry 3 of 4)

1 dialectal British : choice
2 dialectal British : the best part : pick

wale

verb (2)
waled; waling; wales

Definition of wale (Entry 4 of 4)

dialectal British
: choose

First Known Use of wale

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wale

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English walu; akin to Old Norse vǫlr staff and perhaps to Old Norse valr round, Latin volvere to roll — more at voluble

Noun (2)

Middle English (Scots & northern dialect) wal, from Old Norse val; akin to Old High German wala choice, Old English wyllan to wish — more at will

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About wale

Time Traveler for wale

Time Traveler

The first known use of wale was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near wale

Waldsteinia

wale

walee

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wale

Cite this Entry

“Wale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wale. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wale

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wale

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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