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Hail vs. hale

  • Hail is a noun¬†referring to¬†precipitation in the form of spherical pellets of ice, and it’s a verb meaning (1) to salute or greet, (2) to call out in order to catch the attention of, and (3) to come or originate from. The precipitation-related sense can also be used as a verb. Hale usually means free from infirmity or illness, but it also has a rarer verb sense—to compel to go (usually to court).

    Examples

    Hail

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    Winds gusted up to 65 miles per hour Saturday night as hail pounded much of the Wabash Valley, including downtown Terre Haute. [Terre Haute Tribune Star]

    The merger of an internet telephony company with an online auction house is hailed by some analysts as a breakthrough moment. [Guardian]

    Hale

    Businesses benefit by having hale and hearty workers who show up for the job more. [Madison County Herald]

    Why haven’t they been haled to court, which is probably the least likely punishment. ? [Inquirer.net]

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