• synonyms


noun Engineering, Building Trades.
  1. a number of wales, taken as a whole.
  2. timber for use as wales.
  3. wale1(def 5).
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Origin of waling

First recorded in 1830–40; wale1 + -ing1


  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).
  3. the texture or weave of a fabric.
  4. Nautical.
    1. any of certain strakes of thick outside planking on the sides of a wooden ship.
    2. gunwale.
  5. 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.
  6. a ridge on the outside of a horse collar.
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verb (used with object), waled, wal·ing.
  1. to mark with wales.
  2. to weave with wales.
  3. Engineering, Building Trades. to reinforce or fasten with a wale or wales.
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Origin of wale1

before 1050; (noun) Middle English; Old English walu ridge, rib, wheal; cognate with Old Norse vǫlr, Gothic walus rod, wand; (v.) late Middle English, derivative of the noun


[weyl]Scot. and North England
  1. something that is selected as the best; choice.
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verb (used with object), waled, wal·ing.
  1. to choose; select.
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Origin of wale2

1250–1300; Middle English wal(e) < Old Norse val choice, velja to choose
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for waling

Historical Examples

  • There must also be a waling piece or cap at or near the top, anchored back.

    Manual of Military Training

    James A. Moss

  • It acts like a waling, and is useful when the ground is treacherous, and provided it is level.

  • The lower ends should be in a small trench and have a waling piece in front of them.

  • Come away, chap—come away, gentle chap—nae time to be picking and waling your steps.'

    Red Gauntlet

    Sir Walter Scott

British Dictionary definitions for waling


  1. the raised mark left on the skin after the stroke of a rod or whip
    1. the weave or texture of a fabric, such as the ribs in corduroy
    2. a vertical row of stitches in knittingCompare course (def. 14)
  2. nautical
    1. a ridge of planking along the rail of a ship
    2. See gunwale
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verb (tr)
  1. to raise a wale or wales on by striking
  2. to weave with a wale
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Word Origin

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


  1. a choice
  2. anything chosen as the best
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  1. choice
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  1. (tr) to choose
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for waling



Old English walu "ridge," as of earth or stone, later "ridge made on flesh by a lash" (related to weal (n.2)); from Proto-Germanic *walo (cf. Low German wale "weal," Old Frisian walu "rod," Old Norse völr "round piece of wood," Gothic walus "a staff, stick," Dutch wortel, German wurzel "root"). The common notion perhaps is "raised line." Used in reference to the ridges of textile fabric from 1580s. Wales "horizontal planks which extend along a ship's sides" is attested from late 13c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

waling in Medicine


  1. A mark raised on the skin, as by a whip; a weal or welt.
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  1. To raise marks on the skin, as by whipping.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.