1. A strong current of air; a wind between a stiff breeze and a hurricane. The most violent gales are called tempests.
gales have a velocity of from about eighteen (moderate) to about eighty (very heavy) miles an our.
2. A moderate current of air; a breeze. A little gale will soon disperse that cloud. (Shak) And winds of gentlest gale Arabian odors fanned From their soft wings. (Milton)
3. A state of excitement, passion, or hilarity. The ladies, laughing heartily, were fast getting into what, in new England, is sometimes called a gale. (Brooke (Eastford)) Topgallant gale, one in which a ship may carry her topgallant sails.
Origin: Prob. Of Scand. Origin; cf. Dan. Gal furious, Icel. Galinn, cf. Icel. Gala to sing, as. Galan to sing, Icel. Galdr song, witchcraft, as. Galdor charm, sorcery, E. Nightingale; also, Icel. Gjla gust of wind, gola breeze. Cf. Yell.
(Science: botany) a plant of the genus myrica, growing in wet places, and strongly resembling the bayberry. The sweet gale (myrica gale) is found both in Europe and in America.
Origin: as. Gagel, akin to D. Gagel.