follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

galling

[gaw-ling] /ˈgɔ lɪŋ/
adjective
1.
that galls; chafing; irritating; vexing; exasperating.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; gall2 + -ing2
Related forms
gallingly, adverb
gallingness, noun
ungalling, adjective

gall2

[gawl] /gɔl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make sore by rubbing; chafe severely:
The saddle galled the horse's back.
2.
to vex or irritate greatly:
His arrogant manner galls me.
verb (used without object)
3.
to be or become chafed.
4.
Machinery. (of either of two engaging metal parts) to lose metal to the other because of heat or molecular attraction resulting from friction.
5.
Metallurgy. (of a die or compact in powder metallurgy) to lose surface material through adhesion to the die.
noun
6.
a sore on the skin, especially of a horse, due to rubbing; excoriation.
7.
something very vexing or irritating.
8.
a state of vexation or irritation.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English galle (noun), gallen (v.) perhaps < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German gall, akin to Old English gealla sore on a horse
Related forms
ungalled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for galling
  • Some residents find it galling that so much attention is lavished on pets.
  • No explosives are allowed-a galling rule to some contestants.
  • It's galling that so many people still think that's an acceptable form of discourse.
  • The scene awaiting relief workers was galling yet familiar.
  • He says the sound is a galling drone that can escalate at any time into a peace-shattering and sleep-depriving racket.
  • Of course, it's galling when a chief executive fails and is still handsomely rewarded.
  • What has been especially galling has been the cynicism surrounding the efforts to get the toll increases.
  • And so on to the end of the long register, all toiling together in the galling fetters of the tenement.
  • The shop triumphs, and fetters more galling than ever are forged for the tenant.
  • The sea of a mighty population, held in galling fetters, heaves uneasily in the tenements.
British Dictionary definitions for galling

galling

/ˈɡɔːlɪŋ/
adjective
1.
irritating, exasperating, or bitterly humiliating
2.
(obsolete) rubbing painfully; chafing
Derived Forms
gallingly, adverb

gall1

/ɡɔːl/
noun
1.
(informal) impudence
2.
bitterness; rancour
3.
something bitter or disagreeable
4.
(physiol) an obsolete term for bile1
5.
an obsolete term for gall bladder
Word Origin
from Old Norse, replacing Old English gealla; related to Old High German galla, Greek kholē

gall2

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

gall3

/ɡɔːl/
noun
1.
an abnormal outgrowth in plant tissue caused by certain parasitic insects, fungi, bacteria, or mechanical injury
Word Origin
C14: from Old French galle, from Latin galla
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for galling
adj.

"irritating, offensive," 1580s, figurative use of present participle of gall (v.).

gall

n.

"bile," Old English galla (Anglian), gealla (W. Saxon) "gall, bile," from Proto-Germanic *gallon- (cf. Old Norse gall, Old Saxon, Old High German galla, German Galle), from PIE root *ghel- "gold, yellow, yellowish-green" (see Chloe). Informal sense of "impudence, boldness" first recorded American English 1882; but meaning "embittered spirit, rancor" is from c.1200, from the medieval theory of humors. Gall bladder recorded from 1670s.

"sore spot on a horse," Old English gealla "painful swelling," from Latin galla "gall, lump on plant," originally "oak apple," of uncertain origin. Perhaps from or influenced by gall (1) on notion of "poison-sore." German galle, Dutch gal also are from Latin.

v.

"to make sore by chafing," mid-15c., from gall (n.2). Earlier "to have sores, be sore" (early 14c.). Figurative sense of "harass, irritate" is from 1570s. Related: Galled; galling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
galling in Medicine

gall 1 (gôl)
n.
See bile.

gall 2 (gôl)
n.
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.
Cite This Source
galling in Science
gall
  (gôl)   
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.
Cite This Source
galling in the Bible

(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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for galling

Gall

Hunkpapa Sioux war chief, who was one of the most important military leaders at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25, 1876).

Learn more about Gall with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for galling

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for galling

9
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with galling

Nearby words for galling