Word of the Day : February 23, 2016


adjective HAIL


: free from defect, disease, or infirmity : sound; also : retaining exceptional health and vigor

Did You Know?

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.


"He was a rich and powerful noble, then in his sixty-second year, but hale and sturdy, a great horseman and hunter and a pious man." — Edith Wharton, "Kerfol," 1916

"These twins were New Year's babies in 1926. Today the two men are hale and healthy and love to banter with each other about old times and their lives." — Marilyn Salzl Brinkman, The St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times, 18 Dec. 2015

Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of hale (but one typically applied to someone at a different stage in life): NOGBUCIN.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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