gallon

[gal-uhn]
noun
a common unit of capacity in English-speaking countries, equal to four quarts, the U.S. standard gallon being equal to 231 cubic inches (3.7853 liters), and the British imperial gallon to 277.42 cubic inches (4.546 liters). Abbreviation: gal.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English galo(u)n, gallon < Old North French galon, derivative from base of Medieval Latin gallēta jug, bucket, of uncertain origin

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World English Dictionary
gallon (ˈɡælən)
 
n
1.  (Brit) Also called: imperial gallon a unit of capacity equal to 277.42 cubic inches. 1 Brit gallon is equivalent to 1.20 US gallons or 4.55 litres
2.  (US) a unit of capacity equal to 231 cubic inches. 1 US gallon is equivalent to 0.83 imperial gallon or 3.79 litres
3.  (plural) great quantities
 
[C13: from Old Northern French galon (Old French jalon), perhaps of Celtic origin]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gallon
c.1300, from O.N.Fr. galon, corresponding to O.Fr. jalon "liquid measure," related to M.L. dim. form galleta "bucket, pail," also "a measure of wine," perhaps from Gaul. galla "vessel."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

gallon gal·lon (gāl'ən)
n.
Abbr. gal.
A unit of volume in the U.S. Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 4 quarts, 231 cubic inches, or 8.3389 pounds of distilled water (3.7853 liters).

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
gallon   (gāl'ən)  Pronunciation Key 
A unit of liquid volume or capacity in the US Customary System equal to 4 quarts (3.79 liters). See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Dead leaves drift on the green, cloudy water that's nearly to the brim of the six-million-gallon open concrete reservoir.
So the next time you reach into the dairy case, grab the quart or gallon-size yogurt instead of the single-serving cups.
He raced to the grocery store and bought half a gallon of chocolate ice cream.
Twenty or thirty gallons, boiled down, will yield a gallon of light amber syrup.
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