Definition of hail in English:


Line breaks: hail
Pronunciation: /heɪl


[mass noun]
1Pellets of frozen rain which fall in showers from cumulonimbus clouds: rain and hail bounced on the tiled roof
More example sentences
  • Estimates of the amount of rain and hail which fell on Tuesday ranged from 30 mm to 75 mm in 15 minutes.
  • Thunderstorms sometimes drop balls of ice known as hail in addition to rain.
  • Weather conditions could hardly have been worse for the event with a strong biting wind and frequent wintry showers of rain and hail putting a damper on proceedings.
frozen rain, hailstones, sleet, precipitation; hailstorm, hail shower
1.1 [in singular] A large number of things hurled forcefully through the air: a hail of bullets
More example sentences
  • Firefighters came under attack from a hail of stones hurled by children as young as 10.
  • The trickle of arrows became a hail of missiles, then, hurled with deadly accuracy.
  • She grabbed the bucket and, amid a hail of artillery fire, crossed the battery to the well.
barrage, volley, shower, deluge, torrent, burst, stream, storm, flood, spate, rain, tide, avalanche, blaze, onslaught; bombardment, cannonade, battery, blast, broadside, salvo


[no object] Back to top  
1 (it hails, it is hailing, etc.) Hail falls: it hailed so hard we had to stop
More example sentences
  • I rush round closing all the windows and notice it is hailing.
  • Yesterday it hailed so hard it looked like snow.
  • It was raining and hailing, the weather was very poor.
beat, shower, rain, fall, pour, drop; pelt, pepper, batter, bombard, volley, assail
2 [with adverbial of direction] (Of a large number of objects) fall or be hurled forcefully: missiles and bombs hail down from the sky


Old English hagol, hægl (noun), hagalian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hagel and German Hagel.

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