Definition of hail in English:


Line breaks: hail
Pronunciation: /heɪl


1 [with object] Call out to (someone) to attract attention: I hailed her in English
More example sentences
  • I may bridle at the strange young thing who rings up out of the blue and breezily hails me by my first name but it does not help when the company she represents can only be reached through her.
  • A dive master hails me from a nearby floating group, ‘Any idea what that was?’
  • One of them hails me at the fuel pump in order to report that her sister has tried to read the book.
greet, salute, address, halloo, speak to, call out to, shout to, say hello to, initiate a discussion with, talk to; nod to, wave to, smile at, signal to, lift one's hat to, acknowledge; accost, approach, waylay, stop, catch
informal collar, buttonhole
British informal nobble
1.1Signal (an approaching taxi) to stop: she raised her hand to hail a cab
More example sentences
  • If I want the views of a cab driver I'll hail a taxi, thanks.
  • Keeping in mind that the fact that I was female, alone and in one of the worst neighborhoods in New York I hailed a Taxi cab that was in desperate need of a car wash.
  • Finally the security hailed a taxi cab and pushed us in and it drove away.
flag down, wave down, signal to stop, gesture to stop, make a sign to; call to, shout to; summon, accost
2 [with object] Praise (someone or something) enthusiastically: he has been hailed as the new James Dean
More example sentences
  • On the one hand it was hailed as groundbreaking and praised for encouraging debate.
  • However, the fourth Sunday of Lent was hailed as a day for honouring mothers, when servants would have the day off and be encouraged to return home.
  • They were then ushered into the airport's arrivals terminal where they were hailed as heroes by fans who had turned up to welcome the athletes home.
acclaim, praise, applaud, commend, rave about, extol, eulogize, vaunt, hymn, lionize, express approval of, express admiration for, pay tribute to, speak highly of, sing the praises of, make much of; glorify, cheer, salute, exalt, honour, hurrah, hurray, toast, welcome, pay homage to
North American informal ballyhoo
black English big up
dated cry up
archaic emblazon
3 [no object] (hail from) Have one’s home or origins in (a place): they hail from Turkey
More example sentences
  • Gladys, a former mill worker, originally hails from Castleford but has lived in Haworth for most of her life.
  • Wayne originally hails from Wexford and has lived in Sligo for almost ten years.
  • Humble origin and hailing from a small town of Kakinada do not appear to deter him.
come from, be from, be a native of, have been born in, originate in, have one's roots in; be … (by birth); live in, have one's home in, inhabit, be an inhabitant of, be settled in, reside in, be a resident of


archaic Back to top  
Expressing greeting or acclaim: hail, Caesar!
More example sentences
  • Hail, ye lone voices in the wilderness!
  • Hail good citizens!
  • Hail, good old stranger!


Back to top  
A shout or call used to attract attention.
More example sentences
  • Include as many hails of derisive laughter in your answer as possible.
  • We have received your hails and are willing to accept you and any wounded, so long as you disarm and power down.
  • The Radar has just entered out jurisdiction and is not responding to our hails.


Middle English: from the obsolete adjective hail 'healthy' (occurring in greetings and toasts, such as wæs hæil: see wassail), from Old Norse heill, related to hale1 and whole.


all hail

archaic or humorous
A cry of greeting or welcome: all hail the new kids on the block
More example sentences
  • In any case, all hail Muschamp for mixing up the most delightful collection of names in a single piece about a really wonderful building that adds to the measure of happiness in lower Manhattan.
  • As everyone who's seen the show has said, the pure theatrics of the show - all hail Julie Taymor - are astonishing.
  • I have my headphones on; all hail iTunes radio, because the lady at the adjacent table is yelling into her cell phone.

within hail

dated At a distance within which someone may be called to; within earshot: the line keeps within hail of the River Dee
More example sentences
  • If upon the ocean, would any passing vessel be within hail to rescue them from their critical position?
  • After finishing, a yacht shall come within hail of the Committee for instructions as to possible inspection.
  • Come within hail for verbal instructions or follow the official boat displaying Code Flag ‘L'.



More example sentences
  • Protesters may follow the hunt, on condition that loud trumpets, drums and hailers are replaced by muted clarinets or harps.
  • Student strikes are disrupting college campuses, where old protest anthems like ‘We Shall Overcome’ mix with the tinny sound of speeches belted out over load hailers.
  • The street vendors, the business suits on smoke breaks, the cell phones, the cab hailers, the noises.

Definition of hail in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day ween
Pronunciation: wiːn
be of the opinion; think or suppose