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gale

Line breaks: gale
Pronunciation: /ɡeɪl
 
/

Definition of gale in English:

noun

1A very strong wind: I slept well despite the howling gales outside it was blowing a gale [as modifier]: gale-force winds battered the North Sea coast
More example sentences
  • Along the southern coastline, many large swells are generated well south of the continent by strong westerly gales that can blow unimpeded for thousands of kilometres.
  • The weather was, overall, a mixed batch, varying from bright (chilly perhaps) sunshine, to snow, to strong winds and gales.
  • Strong gales of wind had begun to blow through the valley.
Synonyms
strong wind, high wind;
North American windstorm
informal burster, buster
literary flaw
1.1 (also fresh gale) (On the Beaufort scale) a wind of force 8 (34-40 knots or 63-74 km/h).
Example sentences
  • In November 2000 they set off for a five-day training run and found themselves crewing the boat into the teeth of a force eight south-westerly gale.
  • Mind you, as long as you can stop them blowing away, you could enjoy these chips in anything from a refreshing sea breeze to a force-9 gale.
  • It was a force nine gale, a tad below a hurricane, and Rogue Wave was in a grand and powerful waltz.
1.2A storm at sea.
Example sentences
  • They are winds that put the mind in tumult, sweeping us along like ships in a gale, and as storms disturb the harmony of nature, passions are discordant and jangling.
  • Fleeing with other demoralized shreds of the Spanish Armada, the galley had sailed up the eastern coast of England, driven on ahead of the English fleet by gales and storms.
  • After main summer leave, the ship - which was damaged by a ferry during gales last autumn in Portsmouth Harbour - will be preparing for her first major deployment, which begins late this year.
2 (a gale of/gales of) An outburst of laughter: she collapsed into gales of laughter
More example sentences
  • Youth shouts with a laugh, and again, the band collapses in gales of laughter.
  • I blink in surprise and Sam and Ben burst into gales of laughter.
  • By the time Fox was done speaking, the giggles had erupted into gales of laughter.
Synonyms
outburst, burst, eruption, explosion, effusion, attack, fit, paroxysm;
peal, howl, hoot, shriek, scream, shout, roar

Origin

mid 16th century: perhaps related to Old Norse galinn 'mad, frantic'.

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