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Model of a typical Mediterranean 16th century galley



From Middle English galeie, from Old French galée, from Latin galea, from Medieval Ancient Greek γαλέα (galéa) of unknown origin, probably from Ancient Greek γαλέη (galéē), a kind of a small fish, from γαλεός (galeós, dog-fish or small shark)


galley (plural galleys)

Galley of the Austrian passenger ship S.S. Africa in the Mediterranean Sea about 1905
  1. (nautical) A long, slender ship propelled primarily by oars, whether having masts and sails or not; usually referring to rowed warships used in the Mediterranean from the 16th century until the modern era.
  2. (UK) 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.
  7. (printing) A proof sheet taken from type while on a galley; a galley proof.

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