Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

galling

[gaw-ling]
See more synonyms for galling on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. that galls; chafing; irritating; vexing; exasperating.
Show More

Origin of galling

First recorded in 1640–50; gall2 + -ing2
Related formsgall·ing·ly, adverbgall·ing·ness, nounun·gall·ing, adjective

gall2

[gawl]
verb (used with object)
  1. to make sore by rubbing; chafe severely: The saddle galled the horse's back.
  2. to vex or irritate greatly: His arrogant manner galls me.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to be or become chafed.
  2. Machinery. (of either of two engaging metal parts) to lose metal to the other because of heat or molecular attraction resulting from friction.
  3. Metallurgy. (of a die or compact in powder metallurgy) to lose surface material through adhesion to the die.
Show More
noun
  1. a sore on the skin, especially of a horse, due to rubbing; excoriation.
  2. something very vexing or irritating.
  3. a state of vexation or irritation.
Show More

Origin of gall2

before 1000; Middle English galle (noun), gallen (v.) perhaps < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German gall, akin to Old English gealla sore on a horse
Related formsun·galled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for galling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for galling

galling

adjective
  1. irritating, exasperating, or bitterly humiliating
  2. obsolete rubbing painfully; chafing
Show More
Derived Formsgallingly, adverb

gall1

noun
  1. informal impudence
  2. bitterness; rancour
  3. something bitter or disagreeable
  4. physiol an obsolete term for bile 1
  5. an obsolete term for gall bladder
Show More

Word Origin

from Old Norse, replacing Old English gealla; related to Old High German galla, Greek kholē

gall2

noun
  1. a sore on the skin caused by chafing
  2. something that causes vexation or annoyancea gall to the spirits
  3. irritation; exasperation
Show More
verb
  1. pathol to abrade (the skin, etc) as by rubbing
  2. (tr) to irritate or annoy; vex
Show More

Word Origin

C14: of Germanic origin; related to Old English gealla sore on a horse, and perhaps to gall 1

gall3

noun
  1. an abnormal outgrowth in plant tissue caused by certain parasitic insects, fungi, bacteria, or mechanical injury
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Old French galle, from Latin galla
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 galling

adj.

"irritating, offensive," 1580s, figurative use of present participle of gall (v.).

Show More

gall

n.1

"bile," Old English galla (Anglian), gealla (W. Saxon) "gall, bile," from Proto-Germanic *gallon- (cf. Old Norse gall, Old Saxon, Old High German galla, German Galle), from PIE root *ghel- "gold, yellow, yellowish-green" (see Chloe). Informal sense of "impudence, boldness" first recorded American English 1882; but meaning "embittered spirit, rancor" is from c.1200, from the medieval theory of humors. Gall bladder recorded from 1670s.

Show More

gall

n.2

"sore spot on a horse," Old English gealla "painful swelling," from Latin galla "gall, lump on plant," originally "oak apple," of uncertain origin. Perhaps from or influenced by gall (1) on notion of "poison-sore." German galle, Dutch gal also are from Latin.

Show More

gall

v.

"to make sore by chafing," mid-15c., from gall (n.2). Earlier "to have sores, be sore" (early 14c.). Figurative sense of "harass, irritate" is from 1570s. Related: Galled; galling.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

galling in Science

gall

[gôl]
  1. An abnormal swelling of plant tissue, caused by injury or by parasitic organisms such as insects, mites, nematodes, and bacteria. Parasites stimulate the production of galls by secreting chemical irritants on or in the plant tissue. Galls stimulated by egg-laying parasites typically provide a protective environment in which the eggs can hatch and the pupae develop, and they usually do only minor damage to the host plant. Gall-stimulating fungi and microorganisms, such as the bacterium that causes crown gall, are generally considered to be plant diseases.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.