\ ˈgāl How to pronounce gale (audio) \

Definition of gale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a strong current of air:
(1) : a wind from 32 to 63 miles per hour (about 51 to 102 kilometers per hour)
b archaic : breeze
2 : an emotional outburst gales of laughter


biographical name
\ ˈgāl How to pronounce Gale (audio) \

Definition of Gale (Entry 2 of 2)

Zona 1874–1938 American novelist

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Examples of gale in a Sentence

Noun The boat was damaged in a strong gale. The winds approached gale force. The audience erupted in gales of laughter.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An update that evening around 10 p.m., however, predicted a gale. Wenxin Fan, WSJ, 3 Oct. 2021 In one silent scene, a father ties his daughter’s shoelace while grappling with an umbrella in the teeth of a howling gale; in another, an alcoholic priest suffering a crisis of faith stumbles through a communion service. Tobias Grey, WSJ, 13 Aug. 2021 Tourism vanished like a puff of smoke in a Cape winter gale. Adam Welz, The Atlantic, 7 June 2021 The National Weather Service issued a gale warning and small craft advisory for the coast on Saturday, where strong winds are creating large waves and rough conditions through this evening. oregonlive, 5 Dec. 2020 The bodies of two kayakers in Michigan were recovered Friday along the coast of Lake Superior after the pair went missing amid gale-force winds and waves as high as 7 feet, officials said Sunday. Fox News, 20 Sep. 2021 National Parks Service officials said the weather when the kayakers were first reported missing, on Sept. 16, created intense conditions on the lake: gale-force winds up to 40 mph causing waves to crest 3 to 5 feet, sometimes as high as 7 feet. Lily Altavena, Detroit Free Press, 20 Sep. 2021 Forecasters said the system is expected to lose its tropical features and become a non-topical gale-force low on Saturday or Saturday night. Leigh Morgan, al, 17 Sep. 2021 Millions of Gulf Coast residents who survived Ida's gale-force winds and deluge of rain are now facing widespread power outages that are expected to last for weeks, coupled with a period of excessive heat. Mallika Kallingal, CNN, 2 Sep. 2021

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


circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gale


of obscure origin

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for gale



English Language Learners Definition of gale

: a very strong wind
: a sudden occurrence of laughter, tears, etc.


\ ˈgāl How to pronounce gale (audio) \

Kids Definition of gale

1 : a strong wind
2 : a wind of from about 32 to 63 miles per hour (about 51 to 101 kilometers per hour)
3 : an outburst of amusement gales of laughter

More from Merriam-Webster on gale

Nglish: Translation of gale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gale for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gale


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