topgallant gale


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gale \Gale\ (g[=a]l), n. [Prob. of Scand. origin; cf. Dan. gal
   furious, Icel. galinn, cf. Icel. gala to sing, AS. galan to
   sing, Icel. galdr song, witchcraft, AS. galdor charm,
   sorcery, E. nightingale; also, Icel. gj[=o]la gust of wind,
   gola breeze. Cf. Yell.]
   1. A strong current of air; a wind between a stiff breeze and
      a hurricane. The most violent gales are called tempests.
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   Note: Gales have a velocity of from about eighteen
         ("moderate") to about eighty ("very heavy") miles an
         our. --Sir. W. S. Harris.
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   2. A moderate current of air; a breeze.
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            A little gale will soon disperse that cloud. --Shak.
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            And winds of gentlest gale Arabian odors fanned
            From their soft wings.                --Milton.
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   3. A state of excitement, passion, or hilarity.
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            The ladies, laughing heartily, were fast getting
            into what, in New England, is sometimes called a
            gale.                                 --Brooke
                                                  (Eastford).
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   Topgallant gale (Naut.), one in which a ship may carry her
      topgallant sails.
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