Definition of gallon in English:



  • 1A unit of volume for liquid measure equal to eight pints, in particular.

    floods, gallons, pints, oceans
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    1. 1.1British (also used for dry measure) a unit of volume equivalent to 4.55 litres.
      • ‘The AA calculates that a modest family car doing 12,000 miles a year and getting 30 miles per gallon will use 1800 litres of fuel.’
      • ‘Check the number of kilometres it achieves per litre or miles per gallon with dealers and then double-check those figures in motoring magazines or on consumer websites.’
      • ‘Fuel-cell capacity has been reduced from 35 gallons to 30 gallons, and the amount of methanol teams may have in their trackside tanks has changed accordingly.’
      • ‘Pump prices have already soared to 81p per litre - £3.68p a gallon - on many forecourts.’
      • ‘At this time, the going rate per gallon was the equivalent of about 5p.’
      • ‘The Fabia will average well over 40 miles per gallon, almost matching the more expensive 1.9 litre turbodiesel.’
      • ‘With the fuel tank capacity exceeding 12 gallons, this gives a theoretical range of 600 miles between refills.’
      • ‘The premium was based on the milk quota held by eligible farmers on March 31 at a rate of approximately 1.21 cent a litre or 5.5 cent per gallon.’
      • ‘Other units, such as cubic meters or imperial gallons, can be converted to the U.S. barrel fairly easily.’
      • ‘Even if we use Moller's 645 hp figure, that's 43 gallons per hour.’
      • ‘The plastic pipeline, only eight inches in diameter, can bring 22,000 gallons per hour.’
      • ‘A British gallon is 5 litres, but a US one is less.’
      • ‘Even unleaded petrol has long since raced past the £4 per gallon mark, retailing at 96.9 pence a litre.’
      • ‘It was announced that garages would switch to selling petrol by the litre instead of the gallon from the following autumn.’
      • ‘The price at the Shell petrol station in Haverfordwest is 89.9p per litre, approximately 15p a gallon difference.’
      • ‘He said the typical dairy farmer in Ireland is producing 40,000 gallons of milk per year.’
      • ‘The reservoir has a capacity of 720 million gallons, 143 millions more than Hollingworth Lake and enough to keep a household tap running for 50 years.’
      • ‘Petrol prices could go up by another 5p per gallon, or 1p per litre, in the coming weeks after an increase in the cost of crude oil.’
      • ‘The annual price for milk per gallon was £1.17, the euro equivalent being 1.48.’
      • ‘Since we've been here, we've probably bought close to 100,000 litres of compost (that's close to 22,000 imperial gallons).’
    2. 1.2US A unit of volume equivalent to 3.79 litres.
      • ‘What gets the equivalent of 1,000 miles per gallon, doesn't pollute, will save the world, and transports you in breezy style?’
      • ‘The fission of a single gram of uranium is the energy equivalent of burning three tons of coal, or 600 gallons of fuel oil.’
      • ‘This is also known as water volume which is measured in gallons per minute or litres per minute and the amount of water being thrown at the surface being cleaned.’
      • ‘The paper points out that the energy of 2.66 gallons of ethanol is equivalent to 1.74 gallons of gasoline.’
      • ‘According to Leisner, one ton of waste produces the equivalent of 18 gallons of biofuel.’
      • ‘That's the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon of sugar in a gallon of water.’
      • ‘The total shown is equivalent to 62 gallons of diesel fuel.’
      • ‘Carry one gallon of water per person per day, and beware of sudden wind gusts or thunderstorms.’
      • ‘Well, certainly this would be true in Europe, where fuel costs the equivalent of $4 or $5 per gallon.’
      • ‘The economics of doing that are such that one ends up using the equivalent of six gallons of gasoline to make enough hydrogen to replace one gallon of gasoline.’
      • ‘Should we be concerned about the whole chain of calculations he used to arrive at a wheat-field equivalent for a gallon of gas?’
      • ‘This statement is often said by Canadians looking at all the US tourists trying to figure out how to convert litres to gallons.’
      • ‘For smaller back pack sprayers use an equivalent of 1.3 oz of product per every gallon of water.’
      • ‘An independent forensic specialist determined that the foam's combustibility was equivalent to 13 gallons of gasoline.’
      • ‘I kicked the habit in the early 1980s, when gas prices were the equivalent of about $3 per gallon.’
      • ‘The interesting question is: What is the cost of burning a gallon of gasoline to society?’
      • ‘The milk is available in gallons, half gallons, quarts and pints.’
      • ‘At eight cents a gallon, that's a savings of $1.20 compared to other gas stations.’
      • ‘One respondent said that poultry plants have increased water consumption from approximately six gallons to 9.5 gallons per bird.’
      • ‘Four liters is approximately one gallon, or the equivalent of about nine pounds.’
  • 2informal A large volume of something.

    ‘gallons of fake blood’
    • ‘A large aquarium was pulled over and smashed, sending gallons of water cascading over the floor.’
    • ‘A plethora of massive pipes keep draining millions of gallons of radioactive water into the sea with high amount of low-level radiation.’
    • ‘Rather than wasting multiple gallons of energized water I should think it would be profitable, if not philanthropic, to bottle it and take it to market.’
    • ‘What do a few buckets of waste mean anyway, in the grand scheme of things as you bob up and down atop gazillions of gallons of seawater?’
    • ‘Just as well we're in the country here, with a good breeze and gazillions of gallons of fresh air to sweep it up.’
    • ‘Those stars join a list of past celebrity sliming victims during the popular ritual in which gallons of slime rain down on someone during the festivities.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French galon, from the base of medieval Latin galleta, galletum pail, liquid measure, perhaps of Celtic origin.