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

  • noun Precipitation in the form of spherical or irregular pellets of ice larger than 5 millimeters (0.2 inch) in diameter, usually associated with thunderstorms.
  • noun Something that falls with the force and quantity of a shower of ice and hard snow.
  • intransitive verb To precipitate in pellets of ice and hard snow.
  • intransitive verb To fall like hailstones.
  • intransitive verb To pour (something) down or forth.
  • intransitive verb To salute or greet.
  • intransitive verb To greet or acclaim enthusiastically.
  • intransitive verb To call out or yell in order to catch the attention of.
  • intransitive verb To signal or call to a passing ship as a greeting or identification.
  • noun The act of greeting or acclaiming.
  • noun A shout made to catch someone's attention or to greet.
  • noun Hailing distance.
  • interjection Used to express a greeting or tribute.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Be whole; be safe; be happy: a term of salutation now used without thought of its literal meaning, and merely as an exclamatory expression of well-wishing: used absolutely, or followed by a noun with to.
  • noun Pellets of ice falling in showers.
  • See hale.
  • To pour down hail.
  • To pour down or put forth like hail; emit in rapid succession.
  • noun A salutation; greeting; call; summons; challenge of attention.
  • To salute; welcome; address.
  • To call to, as a person, or, by metonymy, a place, house, ship, etc., at a distance; cry out to in order to attract attention.
  • To offer or exchange greeting or tidings; report or declare one's self.
  • noun The varions responses made by naval officers at night to the sentry, by which the latter may learn the rank of the officer approaching the vessel, are as follows: Flag-officers answer “flag!” the captain gives the name of his ship; the ward-room officers answer, “Aye, aye!” the steerage and warrant officers answer, “No, no!” and petty officers and members of the crew answer, “Hello!” Yachtsmen have adopted this code with a slight modification.

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

  • intransitive verb To pour down particles of ice, or frozen vapors.
  • transitive verb To pour forcibly down, as hail.
  • noun Small roundish masses of ice precipitated from the clouds, where they are formed by the congelation of vapor. The separate masses or grains are called hailstones.
  • adjective Healthy. See hale (the preferable spelling).
  • transitive verb To call loudly to, or after; to accost; to salute; to address.
  • transitive verb To name; to designate; to call.
  • intransitive verb To declare, by hailing, the port from which a vessel sails or where she is registered; hence, to sail; to come; -- used with from.
  • intransitive verb colloq. To report as one's home or the place from whence one comes; to come; -- with from.
  • interjection An exclamation of respectful or reverent salutation, or, occasionally, of familiar greeting.
  • interjection See in the Vocabulary.
  • interjection a form of prayer made use of in the Roman Catholic Church in invocation of the Virgin. See Ave Maria.
  • noun A wish of health; a salutation; a loud call.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Balls or pieces of ice falling as precipitation, often in connection with a thunderstorm.
  • verb impersonal Said of the weather when hail is falling.
  • verb transitive to send or release hail
  • verb transitive to greet
  • verb transitive to praise enthusiastically
  • verb transitive to call out loudly in order to gain the attention of
  • adjective obsolete Healthy, whole, safe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb call for
  • verb praise vociferously
  • verb precipitate as small ice particles
  • verb be a native of
  • noun precipitation of ice pellets when there are strong rising air currents
  • noun many objects thrown forcefully through the air


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

[Middle English, from Old English hægel, hagol.]

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

[Middle English heilen, from (wæs) hæil, (be) healthy; see wassail.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English hæġl, hæġel, from Proto-Germanic *haglaz (compare Old High German hagal, Old Norse hagl). Either from Proto-Indo-European *kagʰlos (“pebble”), or from a Proto-Indo-European *ḱoḱló-, a reduplication of Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- (“cold”) (compare Old Norse héla 'frost').

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The adjective hail is a variant of hale ("health, safety") (from the early 13th century). The transitive verb with the meaning "to salute" is also from the 13th century. The cognate verb heal is already Old English (hælan), from Proto-Germanic *hailijanan (“to make healthy, whole, to heal”). Also cognate is whole, from Old English hál (the spelling with wh- is unetymological, introduced in the 15th century).


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  • La grêle

    October 29, 2008