gall wormwood


1 [gawl]
impudence; effrontery.
bile, especially that of an animal.
something bitter or severe.
bitterness of spirit; rancor.
gall and wormwood, bitterness of spirit; deep resentment.

before 900; Middle English; Old English galla, gealla; cognate with German Galle; akin to Latin fel, Greek cholḗ gall, bile

1. nerve, audacity, brass, cheek. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gall1 (ɡɔːl)
1.  informal impudence
2.  bitterness; rancour
3.  something bitter or disagreeable
4.  physiol an obsolete term for bile
5.  an obsolete term for gall bladder
[from Old Norse, replacing Old English gealla; related to Old High German galla, Greek kholē]

gall2 (ɡɔːl)
1.  a sore on the skin caused by chafing
2.  something that causes vexation or annoyance: a gall to the spirits
3.  irritation; exasperation
4.  pathol to abrade (the skin, etc) as by rubbing
5.  (tr) to irritate or annoy; vex
[C14: of Germanic origin; related to Old English gealla sore on a horse, and perhaps to gall1]

gall3 (ɡɔːl)
an abnormal outgrowth in plant tissue caused by certain parasitic insects, fungi, bacteria, or mechanical injury
[C14: from Old French galle, from Latin galla]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"bile," O.E. galla (Anglian), gealla (W. Saxon), from P.Gmc. *gallon- (cf. O.N. gall, O.H.G. galla), from PIE base *ghol-/*ghel- "gold, yellow, yellowish-green" (cf. Gk. khole, see cholera; L. fel; perhaps also O.E. geolo "yellow," Gk. khloros). Informal sense of "impudence, boldness" first recorded
Amer.Eng. 1882; but meaning "embittered spirit, rancor" is from c.1200. Gall bladder recorded from 1670s.

"sore spot on a horse," O.E. gealla "painful swelling," from L. galla "gall, lump on plant," originally "oak apple," of uncertain origin. Perhaps from or influenced by gall (1) on notion of "poison-sore." The verb meaning "to make sore by chafing" is from mid-15c.; figurative
sense of "harass, irritate" is from 1570s. Related: Galled; galling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

gall 1 (gôl)
See bile.

gall 2 (gôl)
A skin sore caused by friction and abrasion. v. galled, gall·ing, galls
To become irritated, chafed, or sore.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
gall   (gôl)  Pronunciation Key 
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Gall definition

(1) Heb. mererah, meaning "bitterness" (Job 16:13); i.e., the bile secreted in the liver. This word is also used of the poison of asps (20:14), and of the vitals, the seat of life (25). (2.) Heb. rosh. In Deut. 32:33 and Job 20:16 it denotes the poison of serpents. In Hos. 10:4 the Hebrew word is rendered "hemlock." The original probably denotes some bitter, poisonous plant, most probably the poppy, which grows up quickly, and is therefore coupled with wormwood (Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; Lam. 3:19). Comp. Jer. 8:14; 23:15, "water of gall," Gesenius, "poppy juice;" others, "water of hemlock," "bitter water." (3.) Gr. chole (Matt. 27:34), the LXX. translation of the Hebrew _rosh_ in Ps. 69; 21, which foretells our Lord's sufferings. The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) "mingled with gall," or, according to Mark (15:23), "mingled with myrrh;" both expressions meaning the same thing, namely, that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (John 18:11).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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