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hail1

[heyl]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cheer, salute, or greet; welcome.
  2. to acclaim; approve enthusiastically: The crowds hailed the conquerors. They hailed the recent advances in medicine.
  3. to call out to in order to stop, attract attention, ask aid, etc.: to hail a cab.
verb (used without object)
  1. to call out in order to greet, attract attention, etc.: The people on land hailed as we passed in the night.
noun
  1. a shout or call to attract attention: They answered the hail of the marooned boaters.
  2. a salutation or greeting: a cheerful hail.
  3. the act of hailing.
interjection
  1. (used as a salutation, greeting, or acclamation.)
Verb Phrases
  1. hail from, to have as one's place of birth or residence: Nearly everyone here hails from the Midwest.
Idioms
  1. within hail, within range of hearing; audible: The mother kept her children within hail of her voice.

Origin of hail1

1150–1200; Middle English haile, earlier heilen, derivative of hail health < Old Norse heill; cognate with Old English hǣl. See heal, wassail
Related formshail·er, noun

Synonyms

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2. cheer, applaud, honor, exalt, laud, extol.

hail2

[heyl]
noun
  1. showery precipitation in the form of irregular pellets or balls of ice more than 1/5 (0.2) inch (5 mm) in diameter, falling from a cumulonimbus cloud (distinguished from sleet).
  2. a shower or storm of such precipitation.
  3. a shower of anything: a hail of bullets.
verb (used without object)
  1. to pour down hail (often used impersonally with it as subject): It hailed this afternoon.
  2. to fall or shower as hail: Arrows hailed down on the troops as they advanced.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pour down on as or like hail: The plane hailed leaflets on the city.

Origin of hail2

before 900; Middle English; Old English hægl, variant of hagol; cognate with German Hagel, Old Norse hagl
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hail

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The impulse that had prompted him to hail her now prompted wild words.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Why should she not hail with joy the story of a great and willing Helper?

  • Hail, happy hour, which shall put us in possession of our rest!

  • The Colonel raised the handkerchief on the point of his sword and gave a hail.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Shall I crown you with our wild-wood coronal, and hail you queen of the forest?

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock


British Dictionary definitions for hail

hail1

noun
  1. small pellets of ice falling from cumulonimbus clouds when there are very strong rising air currents
  2. a shower or storm of such pellets
  3. words, ideas, etc, directed with force and in great quantitya hail of abuse
  4. a collection of objects, esp bullets, spears, etc, directed at someone with violent force
verb
  1. (intr; with it as subject) to be the case that hail is falling
  2. (often with it as subject) to fall or cause to fall as or like hailto hail criticism; bad language hailed about him

Word Origin

Old English hægl; related to Old Frisian heil, Old High German hagal hail, Greek kakhlēx pebble

hail2

verb (mainly tr)
  1. to greet, esp enthusiasticallythe crowd hailed the actress with joy
  2. to acclaim or acknowledgethey hailed him as their hero
  3. to attract the attention of by shouting or gesturingto hail a taxi; to hail a passing ship
  4. (intr foll by from) to be a native (of); originate (in)she hails from India
noun
  1. the act or an instance of hailing
  2. a shout or greeting
  3. distance across which one can attract attention (esp in the phrase within hail)
sentence substitute
  1. poetic an exclamation of greeting
Derived Formshailer, noun

Word Origin

C12: from Old Norse heill whole; see hale 1, wassail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hail

interj.

"greetings!" c.1200, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse heill "health, prosperity, good luck;" and from Old English hals, shortening of wæs hæil "be healthy" (see health and cf. wassail).

n.

"frozen rain," Old English hægl, hagol (Mercian hegel) "hail, hailstorm," also the name of the rune for H, from West Germanic *haglaz (cf. Old Frisian heil, Old Saxon, Old High German hagal, Old Norse hagl, German Hagel "hail"), probably from PIE *kaghlo- "pebble" (cf. Greek kakhlex "round pebble").

v.1

"to call from a distance," 1560s, originally nautical, from hail (interj.). Related: Hailed; hailing. Hail fellow well met is 1580s, from a familiar greeting. Hail Mary (c.1300) is the angelic salutation (Latin ave Maria), cf. Luke i:58, used as a devotional recitation. As a desperation play in U.S. football, attested by 1940. To hail from is 1841, originally nautical. "Hail, Columbia," the popular patriotic song, was a euphemism for "hell" in American English slang from c.1850-1910.

v.2

Old English hagolian, from root of hail (n.). Related: Hailed; hailing. Figurative use from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hail in Science

hail

[hāl]
  1. Precipitation in the form of rounded pellets of ice and hard snow that usually falls during thunderstorms. Hail forms when raindrops are blown up and down within a cloud, passing repeatedly through layers of warm and freezing air and collecting layers of ice until they are too heavy for the winds to keep them from falling.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hail in Culture

hail

Pellets of ice that form when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops to high altitudes, where the water freezes and then falls back to Earth. Hailstones as large as baseballs have been recorded. Hail can damage crops and property.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with hail

hail

In addition to the idiom beginning with hail

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.