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adjective, hal·er, hal·est.
  1. free from disease or infirmity; robust; vigorous: hale and hearty men in the prime of life.

Origin of hale1

before 1000; Middle English (north); Old English hāl whole
Related formshale·ness, noun


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sound, healthy,




verb (used with object), haled, hal·ing.
  1. to compel (someone) to go: to hale a man into court.
  2. to haul; pull.

Origin of hale2

1175–1225; Middle English halen < Middle French haler < Germanic; compare Dutch halen to pull, fetch; akin to Old English geholian to get, German holen to fetch. See haul
Related formshal·er, noun


  1. (in Hawaii) a simple thatched-roof dwelling.

Origin of hale3

From Hawaiian; house, building


  1. Edward Everett,1822–1909, U.S. clergyman and author.
  2. George El·ler·y [el-uh-ree] /ˈɛl ə ri/, 1868–1938, U.S. astronomer.
  3. Sir Matthew,1609–76, British jurist: Lord Chief Justice 1671–76.
  4. Nathan,1755–76, American soldier hanged as a spy by the British during the American Revolution.
  5. Sarah Jo·se·pha [joh-see-fuh] /dʒoʊˈsi fə/, 1788–1879, U.S. editor and author.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hale


  1. healthy and robust (esp in the phrase hale and hearty)
  2. Scot and Northern English dialect whole
Derived Formshaleness, noun

Word Origin

Old English hæl whole


  1. (tr) to pull or drag; haul
Derived Formshaler, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French haler, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German halōn to fetch, Old English geholian to acquire


  1. George Ellery. 1868–1938, US astronomer: undertook research into sunspots and invented the spectroheliograph
  2. Sir Matthew. 1609–76, English judge and scholar; Lord Chief Justice (1671–76)
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 hale


"healthy," Old English hal "healthy, entire, uninjured" (see health). The Scottish and northern English form of whole; it was given a literary sense of "free from infirmity" (1734). Related: Haleness.


c.1200, "drag; summon," in Middle English used of arrows, bowstrings, reins, anchors, from Old French haler "to pull, haul" (12c.), from a Germanic source, perhaps Frankish *halon or Old Dutch halen; probably also from Old English geholian "obtain" (see haul). Figurative sense of "to draw (someone) from one condition to another" is late 14c. Related: Haled; haling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper