AskDefine | Define gale

Dictionary Definition

gale n : a strong wind moving 45-90 knots; force 7 to 10 on Beaufort scale

User Contributed Dictionary







  1. A strong wind, more than a breeze, less than a storm; number 7 through 9 winds on the 12 step Beaufort scale.
  2. An outburst, especially of laughter.
    a gale of laughter
  3. A shrub, sweet gale (Myrica gale) growing on moors and fens.
  4. A light breeze.
  5. A periodic payment, such as is made of a rent or annuity.
    Gale day - the day on which rent or interest is due. Definition from 1913 Webster.

Coordinate terms


meteorology: a strong wind
outburst of laughter
  • Finnish: naurunpuuska
Myrica gale
  • Danish: pors
  • Finnish: suomyrtti






Variant of galle.







  1. Plural of gal


  1. to make a sound characteristic of a rooster; to crow

Extensive Definition

A gale is a very strong wind. There are conflicting definitions of how strong. The U.S. Government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a gale as 34 to 47 knots (62.7 km/hr to 86.9 km/hr or 39 miles per hour to 54 miles per hour) of sustained surface winds. Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are expected.
Other sources use minimums as low as 28 knots and maximums as high as 90 knots. The 90 knot definition is very non-standard. A common alternative definition of the maximum is 55 knots.
For more on the traditional nautical use of the word gale, see Beaufort scale.


gale in German: Starkwind
gale in Japanese: 風力
gale in Polish: Wicher

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

air, black squall, blast, blaze, blizzard, blow, breeze, burst, convulsion, cooling breeze, cyclone, equinoctial, eruption, explosion, fit, flare-up, gentle wind, gust, half a gale, heavy blow, howl, hurricane, ill wind, irruption, light air, light breeze, light wind, line squall, line storm, moderate breeze, ocean breeze, onshore breeze, outbreak, outburst, paroxysm, peal, roar, scream, sea breeze, seizure, shout, shriek, softblowing wind, spasm, squall, squall line, storm, storm wind, stormy winds, strong wind, tempest, tempestuous wind, thick squall, thundersquall, tornado, tropical cyclone, turbulence, typhoon, ugly wind, upheaval, violent blow, whirlwind, white squall, whole gale, williwaw, wind-shift line, windstorm, zephyr
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