Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Outrageous insolence; effrontery.
  • noun Bitterness of feeling; rancor.
  • noun Something bitter to endure.
  • noun A skin sore caused by friction and abrasion.
  • noun Exasperation; vexation.
  • noun The cause of such vexation.
  • intransitive verb To irk or exasperate; vex.
  • intransitive verb To wear away or make sore by abrasion; chafe.
  • intransitive verb To become worn or sore by abrasion.
  • noun An abnormal growth of plant tissue caused by an organism, such as an insect, mite, or bacterium, or by a wound.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sore on the skin, caused by fretting or rubbing; an excoriation.
  • noun A fault, imperfection, or blemish. Halliwell. [Prov. Eng.]
  • noun In stone- and marble-cutting, a hollow made in the surface of a slab by changing the direction of the cut.
  • noun A spot where grass, corn, or trees have failed. Halliwell (spelled gaul).
  • noun In the southern United States, a low spot, as near the mouth of a river, where the soil under the matted surface has been washed away, or has been so exhausted that nothing will grow on it. See bay-gall.
  • noun The bitter secretion of the liver: same as bile, 1. See also ox-gall.
  • noun Hence—2. Bitterness of feeling; rancor; malignity; hate.
  • noun The gall-bladder.
  • noun [Cf. bile, 2.] Impudence; effrontery; cheek. [Local, slang.]
  • noun The scum of melted glass.
  • To fret and wear away, as the skin, by friction; excoriate; break the skin of by rubbing: as, a saddle galls the back of a horse.
  • To impair the surface of by rubbing; wear away: as, to gall a mast or a cable.
  • To fret; vex; irritate: as, to be galled by sarcasm.
  • To harass; distress: as, the troops were galled by the shot of the enemy.
  • To fret; be or become chafed.
  • To act in a galling manner; make galling or irritating remarks.
  • To impregnate with a decoction of galls.
  • noun A long space without weft in a piece of cloth.
  • noun A small silver coin of Cambodia, worth about fourpence.
  • noun A vegetable excrescence produced by the deposit of the egg of an insect in the bark or leaves of a plant, ordinarily due to the action of some virus deposited by the female along with the egg, but often to the irritation of the larva.
  • noun An excrescence on or under the skin of a mammal or a bird, produced by the puncture of an acarid or of an insect of the dipterous genus Œstrus. Encyc. Brit.
  • noun A distortion in a plant caused by a species of parasitic fungus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb (Dyeing) To impregnate with a decoction of gallnuts.
  • intransitive verb rare To scoff; to jeer.
  • noun A wound in the skin made by rubbing.
  • transitive verb To fret and wear away by friction; to hurt or break the skin of by rubbing; to chafe; to injure the surface of by attrition
  • transitive verb To fret; to vex.
  • transitive verb To injure; to harass; to annoy.
  • noun (Zoöl.) An excrescence of any form produced on any part of a plant by insects or their larvae. They are most commonly caused by small Hymenoptera and Diptera which puncture the bark and lay their eggs in the wounds. The larvae live within the galls. Some galls are due to aphids, mites, etc. See gallnut.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any insect that produces galls.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any small dipterous insect that produces galls.
  • noun the oak (Quercus infectoria) which yields the galls of commerce.
  • noun the neutral salt skimmed off from the surface of melted crown glass;- called also glass gall and sandiver.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Gallfly.
  • noun (Physiol.) The bitter, alkaline, viscid fluid found in the gall bladder, beneath the liver. It consists of the secretion of the liver, or bile, mixed with that of the mucous membrane of the gall bladder.
  • noun The gall bladder.
  • noun Anything extremely bitter; bitterness; rancor.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English galle, gallbladder, bile, courage, from Old English gealla, galla, bile; see ghel- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English galle, from Old English gealla, possibly from Latin galla, nutgall.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English galle, from Old French, from Latin galla, nutgall.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English ġealla, related to Proto-Germanic *gallō. Cognate with Dutch gal, German Galle, Swedish galle, galla. There may also be influence from Old English geolu ("yellow").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French galle, from Latin galla ("oak-apple").

Examples

Comments

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  • By now, pull in your ladder road behind you

    And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.

    Then make yourself at home. The only field

    Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall.

    - Robert Frost, 'Directive'.

    October 4, 2008

  • Rejoice, and men will seek you;

    Grieve, and they turn and go;

    They want full measure of all your pleasure,

    But they do not need your woe.

    Be glad, and your friends are many;

    Be sad, and you lose them all,—

    There are none to decline your nectared wine,

    But alone you must drink life’s gall.

    - Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 'Solitude'.

    September 30, 2009

  • The speeding car had the gall to switch five lanes at once, run through a red light, and then cut off a police car before finally coming to a stop in front of a sea of flashing red lights.

    October 12, 2016

  • "In the southern United States, a low spot, as near the mouth of a river, where the soil under the matted surface has been washed away, or has been so exhausted that nothing will grow on it. See bay-gall."

    -- from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

    April 6, 2017

  • to irritate or cause pain

    I went below and did what I could for my wound; it pained me a good deal and still bled freely, but it was neither deep nor dangerous, nor did it greatly gall me when I used my arm.
    Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island (1883), ch. 27

    February 10, 2019