definition of hailing by The Free Dictionary


cheer, salute, acclaim: hail, Caesar; attract: hail a cab; precipitation in the form of ice balls

Not to be confused with:

hale – healthy; robust; vigorous; sound: The old man is still hale and hearty.

Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree

hail 1



1. Precipitation in the form of spherical or irregular pellets of ice larger than 5 millimeters (0.2 inch) in diameter, usually associated with thunderstorms.

2. Something that falls with the force and quantity of a shower of ice and hard snow: a hail of pebbles; a hail of criticism.

v. hailed, hail·ing, hails


1. To precipitate in pellets of ice and hard snow.

2. To fall like hailstones: Condemnations hailed down on them.

To pour (something) down or forth: They hailed insults at me.

[Middle English, from Old English hægel, hagol.]

hail 2


v. hailed, hail·ing, hails


a. To salute or greet.

b. To greet or acclaim enthusiastically: The crowds hailed the boxing champion.

2. To call out or yell in order to catch the attention of: hail a cabdriver.


To signal or call to a passing ship as a greeting or identification.


1. The act of greeting or acclaiming.

2. A shout made to catch someone’s attention or to greet.

3. Hailing distance: told me to stay within hail.


Used to express a greeting or tribute.

Phrasal Verb:

hail from

To come or originate from: She hails from Texas.

[Middle English heilen, from (wæs) hæil, (be) healthy; see wassail.]

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




1. (Physical Geography) small pellets of ice falling from cumulonimbus clouds when there are very strong rising air currents

2. (Physical Geography) a shower or storm of such pellets

3. words, ideas, etc, directed with force and in great quantity: a hail of abuse.

4. a collection of objects, esp bullets, spears, etc, directed at someone with violent force


5. (Physical Geography) (intr; with it as subject) to be the case that hail is falling

6. (often with: it as subject) to fall or cause to fall as or like hail: to hail criticism; bad language hailed about him.

[Old English hægl; related to Old Frisian heil, Old High German hagal hail, Greek kakhlēx pebble]



vb (mainly tr)

1. to greet, esp enthusiastically: the crowd hailed the actress with joy.

2. to acclaim or acknowledge: they hailed him as their hero.

3. to attract the attention of by shouting or gesturing: to hail a taxi; to hail a passing ship.

4. (foll by: from) to be a native (of); originate (in): she hails from India.


5. the act or an instance of hailing

6. a shout or greeting

7. distance across which one can attract attention (esp in the phrase within hail)

sentence substitute

(Poetry) poetic an exclamation of greeting

[C12: from Old Norse heill whole; see hale1, wassail]

ˈhailer n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




1. to cheer, salute, or greet; welcome.

2. to acclaim; approve enthusiastically.

3. to call out to, as in order to stop or to attract the attention of: to hail a cab.


4. hail from, to have as one’s place of birth or residence: My roommate hails from Indiana.


5. a shout or call to attract attention.

6. a salutation.


7. (used as a salutation or acclamation.)


within hail, within range of hearing; audible.

[1150–1200; Middle English hailen, v. derivative of hail well, healthy < Old Norse heill]

hail′er, n.




1. showery precipitation in the form of irregular pellets or balls of ice more than ? in. (5 mm) in diameter, falling from a cumulonimbus cloud (disting. from sleet).

2. a shower or storm of such precipitation.

3. a shower of anything: a hail of bullets.


4. to pour down hail (often used impersonally with it as subject): It hailed all afternoon.

5. to fall or shower like hail: Arrows hailed on the troops.

[before 900; Middle English; Old English hægl, c. Old High German hagel, Old Norse hagl]

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



Precipitation in the form of rounded pellets of ice and hard snow that usually falls during thunderstorms. Hail forms when raindrops are blown up and down within a cloud, passing repeatedly through layers of warm and freezing air and collecting layers of ice until they are too heavy for the winds to keep them from falling.

The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


 a storm or shower of anything similar to hail. See also fusillade.

Examples: hail of bullets; of farewells; of iron globes, 1667; of ice; of peas, 1728; of round shot, 1893; of shots.

Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: hailed
Gerund: hailing

Present Continuous
it is hailing
Present Perfect
it has hailed
Past Continuous
it was hailing
Past Perfect
it had hailed
Future Perfect
it will have hailed
Future Continuous
it will be hailing
Present Perfect Continuous
it has been hailing
Future Perfect Continuous
it will have been hailing
Past Perfect Continuous
it had been hailing
Past Conditional
it would have hailed

Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

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