hail

Definitions

General Science

  • noun water falling from clouds in the form of small round pieces of ice

Military

  • noun small round pellets of frozen rain falling to the ground

Travel

  • noun small pieces of ice which fall like frozen rain
  • verb to wave to a taxi to stop

Aviation

  • acronymGR

Information & Library Science

  • abbreviation in Internet addresses, the top-level domain for Greece

Origin & History of “hail”

Not surprisingly, hail ‘frozen rain’ (OE) and hail ‘call out’ (12th c.) are quite unrelated. The former, together with its German and Dutch relative hagel, comes from a prehistoric west Germanic *hagalaz, which is related ultimately to Greek kákhlēx ‘pebble’. The verb hail is closely related to hale and whole. It comes from the noun hail, which in turn was a nominal use of the now obsolete adjective hail ‘healthy’ (preserved in wassail, literally ‘be healthy’). this was borrowed from heill, the Old Norse counterpart of English whole.
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