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See also: Galley


Model of a typical Mediterranean 16th century galley


From Middle English galeie, from Old French galee, from Latin galea, from Byzantine Greek γάλεα (gálea) of unknown origin, probably from Ancient Greek γαλέη (galéē), a kind of a small fish, from γαλεός (galeós, dog-fish or small shark). Doublet of galea.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡæli/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æli


galley (plural galleys or (obsolete) gallies)

Galley of the Austrian passenger ship S.S. Africa in the Mediterranean Sea about 1905
  1. (nautical, historical) A long, slender ship propelled primarily by oars, whether having masts and sails or not; usually a rowed warship used in the Mediterranean from the 16th century until the modern era.
  2. (Britain) A light, open boat used on the Thames by customhouse officers, press gangs, and also for pleasure.
  3. (nautical) One of the small boats carried by a man-of-war.
  4. (nautical) The cookroom or kitchen and cooking apparatus of a vessel or aircraft; sometimes on merchant vessels called the caboose.
  5. An oblong oven or muffle with a battery of retorts; a gallery furnace.
  6. (printing) An oblong tray of wood or brass, with upright sides, for holding type which has been set, or is to be made up, etc.
    • 1976 April 26, Jil Clark, Julia Penelope, Susan Wolfe, “The Politics of Language”, in Gay Community News, page 8:
      It was very nerve-racking. When I was finally able to write the story, I wrote it at the typewriter and never reread it until I had to edit the typos on the printer's galleys for the publication of the book.
  7. (printing) A proof sheet taken from type while on a galley; a galley proof.
  8. (heraldry) A representation of a single masted ship propelled by oars, with three flags and a basket.


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