1. A mark raised on the skin, as by a whip; a weal or welt.
a. One of the parallel ribs or ridges in the surface of a fabric such as corduroy.
b. The texture or weave of such a fabric: a wide wale.
a. A gunwale.
b. One of the heavy planks or strakes extending along the sides of a wooden ship.
tr.v. waled, wal·ing, wales
To raise marks on (the skin), as by whipping.
[Middle English, from Old English, variant of walu; see wel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.