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[gal-ee] /ˈgæl i/
noun, plural galleys.
a kitchen or an area with kitchen facilities in a ship, plane, or camper.
  1. a seagoing vessel propelled mainly by oars, used in ancient and medieval times, sometimes with the aid of sails.
  2. a long rowboat, as one used as a ship's boat by a warship or one used for dragging a seine.
  3. (formerly, in the U.S. Navy) a shoal-draft vessel, variously rigged, relying mainly on its sails but able to be rowed by sweeps.
  1. a long, narrow tray, usually of metal, for holding type that has been set.
  2. galley proof.
  3. a rough unit of measurement, about 22 inches (56 cm), for type composition.
1250-1300; Middle English galei(e) < Old French galee, galie, perhaps < Old Provençal galea < Late Greek galéa, galaía
Related forms
galleylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for galleys
  • It's full of typos, errors, nobody ever showed me the proofs or the galleys.
  • But that does not make a chain a desirable ornament nor the galleys an abode of bliss.
  • She left to inform the cabin crew and secure the galleys.
  • Some airlines are shrinking or even jettisoning their galleys.
  • Its catering trucks rise two stories off the ground to reach the galleys.
  • Corresponding author is the primary contact for proofing the manuscript and galleys.
  • For accounts not included in the reprinted galleys, prepare the narrative statements as new print materials.
  • The company designs and makes equipment for airplane galleys.
  • Aircraft tank water is used in the galleys and lavatory sinks.
  • galleys are usually made as cheaply as possible, since they are not intended for sale.
British Dictionary definitions for galleys


any of various kinds of ship propelled by oars or sails used in ancient or medieval times as a warship or as a trader
the kitchen of a ship, boat, or aircraft
any of various long rowing boats
  1. (in hot-metal composition) a tray open at one end for holding composed type
  2. short for galley proof
Word Origin
C13: from Old French galie, from Medieval Latin galea, from Greek galaia, of unknown origin; the sense development apparently is due to the association of a galley or slave ship with a ship's kitchen and hence with a hot furnace, trough, printer's tray, etc
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
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Word Origin and History for galleys



c.1300, from Old French galie, from Medieval Latin galea or Catalan galea, from Late Greek galea, of unknown origin. The word has made its way into most Western European languages. Originally "low, flat-built seagoing vessel of one deck," once common in the Mediterranean; meaning "cooking range on a ship" dates from 1750. The printing sense is from 1650s, from French galée in the same sense, in reference to the shape of the oblong tray that holds the type. As a short form of galley-proof it is attested from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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