Definition of gallery in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡal(ə)rē/

noun (plural galleries)

1A room or building for the display or sale of works of art.
Example sentences
  • Many galleries display the art prints without prices - hoping to get more easily into an e-mail contact with their visitors.
  • The new renaissance and baroque galleries at the Waiters Art Museum, Baltimore, include rooms that resemble those of a seventeenth-century Dutch nobleman.
  • When the gallery began presenting Pop art, the sculptor showed elsewhere.
exhibition room, display room
1.1A collection of pictures.
Example sentences
  • Welcome to our photo gallery, an exclusive collection of pictures depicting Rochdale and the surrounding areas.
  • So that means my WIP gallery is down one picture!
  • To view some of his images visit his on-line gallery: Pictures of Ireland
2A balcony, especially a platform or upper floor, projecting from the back or sidewall inside a church or hall, providing space for an audience or musicians.
Example sentences
  • Imagine harsh whining noise emanating from a minstrel's gallery in a church in a woodland village in Dorset.
  • He said the Great Hall was a major feature, with its high vaulted ceiling, stone floor and minstrels' gallery - and the views were breathtaking.
  • An ash staircase leads upstairs where an ash balustrade forms a minstrel's gallery overlooking the entrance hall.
2.1 (the gallery) The highest balconies in a theater, containing the cheapest seats.
Example sentences
  • Seated in the theatre's lower gallery, I found myself distracted, not for the first time, by the endless gropings of the groundlings.
  • Janet and William Norwood, the young man's parents, were also seated in the gallery and stood up to tumultuous and prolonged applause.
  • He turned and pointed to Jefferson Lambert, seated in the gallery.
informal gods
2.2A group of spectators, especially those at a golf tournament.
Example sentences
  • However, it's impossible to police everyone in the gallery, or tournament golf would turn into a police state.
  • By seeking more mainstream sports fans, is golf in danger of attracting football crowds instead of the more traditional golf galleries?
  • He wasn't expecting to win, but he was keen to show golf's most knowledgeable galleries that he was a genuine talent.
3A long room or passage, typically one that is partly open at the side to form a portico or colonnade.
Example sentences
  • The linear form of the north block lends itself to open galleries while the deeper south block offers a calmer atmosphere for browsing stacks and reading at tables.
  • Liam led me along an amazing and seemingly endless labyrinth of passages, hallways, corridors and galleries.
  • Moving further in, concentric with the central stupa is a surrounding gallery or portico that connects the four viharas.
3.1A horizontal underground passage, especially in a mine.
Example sentences
  • The mines, a Unesco world cultural heritage monument, attract tourists from round the world to its labyrinthine tunnels, galleries and underground lakes.
  • A stone staircase leads to the deep cave labyrinth, 2500m of underground galleries.
  • While burial in underground galleries carved out of soft rock was not restricted to Roman Christians alone, it is with them that the catacombs are most commonly associated.


play to the gallery

Act in an exaggerated or theatrical manner, especially to appeal to popular taste.
Example sentences
  • We posture, strike poses, we play to the gallery or say things for effect.
  • Every producer and director has played to the gallery and used ‘sex appeal’ to sell their product albeit in their own ways.
  • But now there is nothing in place; everyone plays to the gallery.



Example sentences
  • This ultra-modern four-bedroom property is set on two levels with an attractive layout, galleried landing and boasts interesting architectural features including a spiral staircase.
  • She hopes that by April the Castle will be returning to normality and brides will walk down the staircase into the spectacular galleried Great Hall which is 80 ft high.
  • The upper tier is like a continuous galleried balcony.


Late Middle English (sense 3): via Old French from Italian galleria 'gallery', formerly also 'church porch', from medieval Latin galeria, perhaps an alteration of galilea (see galilee).

  • Galilee, the northern region of ancient Palestine where Jesus lived, may be the ultimate source of gallery, which entered English from Italian galleria ‘gallery’, or ‘church porch’. Its medieval Latin source was perhaps an alteration of Galilea ‘Galilee’, which was used as the name for a porch or chapel at the church entrance. The idea behind this was probably that the porch was at the end of the church furthest away from the altar, just as Galilee, an outlying portion of the Holy Land, was far from Jerusalem. From the mid 17th century the highest seating in a theatre was called the gallery, and this was where the cheapest seats—and the least refined members of the audience—were found. Hence, to play to the gallery, an expression dating from the late 19th century, is to act in a showy or exaggerated way to appeal to popular taste.

Words that rhyme with gallery

calorie, Malory, salary, Valerie

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gal·ler·y

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