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

  • n. The amount of liquid within a container that is lost, as by leakage, during shipment or storage.
  • n. The amount by which a container, such as a bottle, cask, or tank, falls short of being full.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In a wine bottle, the empty space between the cork and the top of the wine.
  • n. In a cask or barrel, the empty space, occupied by air, that is created by not completely filling the cask or barrel
  • n. The topping-up of such a barrel with fresh wine
  • n. In an industrial setting, the empty space in a tank, such as for fuel

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The amount which a vessel, as a cask, of liquor lacks of being full; wantage; deficiency.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In com., the wantage of a cask, or the estimated measure of the empty part of a cask of liquor.

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

  • n. the amount that a container (as a wine bottle or tank) lacks of being full


Middle English ulage, from Old French ouillage, from ouiller, to fill up a cask, from ouil, eye, bunghole, from Latin oculus, eye; see okw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English ulage, from Anglo-Norman ullage, from *ullier (“to fill a partially empty cask”), from Old French oel ("bunghole", literally, "eye"), from Latin oculus ("eye"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A neighbor asks to use your yard waste bin and promises, "I'll leave an ullage for you."

    June 17, 2016

  • "Now the sporting spirit has definitively run out, replaced by dedicated afternoon boozing, history like a puddle of ullage."
    London Orbital by Iain Sinclair, p 391 of the Penguin paperback edition

    February 9, 2012

  • liquid entropy

    July 30, 2009

  • A handy word for pessimists.

    July 30, 2008