[ weyl ]
See synonyms for: walewales on Thesaurus.com

  1. a streak, stripe, or ridge produced on the skin by the stroke of a rod or whip; welt.

  2. the vertical rib in knit goods or a chain of loops running lengthwise in knit fabric (opposed to course).

  1. the texture or weave of a fabric.

  2. Nautical.

    • any of certain strakes of thick outside planking on the sides of a wooden ship.

  3. Also called breast timber, ranger, waling .Engineering, Building Trades. a horizontal timber or other support for reinforcing various upright members, as sheet piling or concrete form boards, or for retaining earth at the edge of an excavation.

  4. a ridge on the outside of a horse collar.

verb (used with object),waled, wal·ing.
  1. to mark with wales.

  2. to weave with wales.

  1. Engineering, Building Trades. to reinforce or fasten with a wale or wales.

Origin of wale

First recorded before 1050; Middle English; Old English walu “ridge, rib, welt”; cognate with Old Norse vǫlr, Gothic walus “rod, wand”; see wheal;

Words Nearby wale

Other definitions for wale (2 of 2)

[ weyl ]

  1. something that is selected as the best; choice.

verb (used with object),waled, wal·ing.

Origin of wale

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun wal(e), from Old Norse val “choice,”

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use wale in a sentence

  • It was on the Derby, he himself having bet that the Prince of wale's horse would win.

  • As the thought passed through her, she saw on Amy's neck a frightful upswollen wale.

    Weighed and Wanting | George MacDonald
  • Mr. Quintus Slide, when he was really anxious to use his thong earnestly, could generally raise a wale.

    Phineas Finn | Anthony Trollope
  • We may doubt, however, whether she had ever realized how terribly her scourges would wale him.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family | Anthony Trollope
  • His business was to wale dismal, and bow his head down, the band (a barrel organ and a wiolin) playin slow and melancholly moosic.

    The Complete Works of Artemus Ward | Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)

British Dictionary definitions for wale (1 of 2)


/ (weɪl) /

  1. the raised mark left on the skin after the stroke of a rod or whip

    • the weave or texture of a fabric, such as the ribs in corduroy

    • a vertical row of stitches in knitting: Compare course (def. 14)

  1. nautical

    • a ridge of planking along the rail of a ship

  1. to raise a wale or wales on by striking

  2. to weave with a wale

Origin of wale

Old English walu weal 1; related to Old Norse vala knuckle, Dutch wäle

British Dictionary definitions for wale (2 of 2)


/ (weɪl) Scot and Northern English dialect /

  1. a choice

  2. anything chosen as the best

  1. choice

  1. (tr) to choose

Origin of wale

C14: from Old Norse val choice, related to German Wahl

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