AskDefine | Define bale

Dictionary Definition



1 a large bundle bound for storage or transport
2 a city in northwestern Switzerland [syn: Basel, Basle] v : make into a bale; "bale hay"

User Contributed Dictionary






Etymology 1

Old English bealo, from Germanic *balwo. Cognate with Old High German balo ‘destruction’, Old Norse bǫl ‘disaster’.


  1. Evil, especially considered as an active force for destruction or death.
  2. Suffering, woe, torment.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

Old English bǣl, from Germanic *bālo, from Indo-European. Cognate with Old Norse bál (which may have been the direct source for the English word).


  1. A large fire, a conflagration or bonfire.
  2. A funeral pyre.
  3. A beacon-fire.
Derived terms

Etymology 3

Precise derivation uncertain: perhaps from Old French bale, balle, from mediaeval Latin balla ‘ball, rounded package’; or perhaps from Flemish bale (modern Dutch baal), itself borrowed from French.


  1. A rounded bundle or package of goods in a cloth cover, and corded for storage or transportation; a bundle of compressed wool or hay, compacted for shipping and handling.
  2. A measurement of hay equal to 10 flakes. Approximately 70-90 lbs (32-41 kg).
  3. A measurement of paper equal to 10 reams.


  1. To wrap into a bale.

Etymology 4

Alternative spelling of bail.


  1. (nautical) To remove water from a boat with buckets etc.





Extensive Definition

Bale can refer to any of the following:



Industrial packaging


  • Akar-Bale language
  • bale, an archaic synonym for evil
  • bale, a bale of rocks, which is a group of rocks.
  • to "bale out" is to exit an airborne aircraft while wearing a parachute (presumably from the resemblance of a backpack parachute to a hay bale). Also spelled bail (as in exiting an untenable situation.)
  • Bale, also spelt bail, to mess up a skateboarding move while performing it. Also known as a Bail/Bale Out.
  • Bale, also spelt bail. A jewellery findings item (jewellery findings are components regularly used in the manufacture of jewellery). A bale is a component which is used to attach or suspend a pendant or similar from a chain or other item. A bale will commonly be in the form of a triangular loop which can be clipped or soldered on to a ring.

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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