What's the difference between
Enter two words to compare and contrast their definitions, origins, and synonyms to better understand how those words are related.

Hale vs Hay - What's the difference?

hale | hay |

As nouns the difference between hale and hay

is that hale is , black pine (pinus nigra ) or hale can be awn, beard of grain while hay is (uncountable) grass cut and dried for use as animal fodder or hay can be the name of the letter for the h sound in pitman shorthand.

As a verb hay is

to cut grasses or herb plants for use as animal fodder.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) .


  • (archaic) Health, welfare.
  • * Spenser
  • All heedless of his dearest hale .

    Etymology 2

    Representing a Northern dialectal form of (etyl) .


  • Sound, entire, healthy; robust, not impaired.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • Last year we thought him strong and hale .
  • * 1883 , (Howard Pyle), (The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood)
  • "Good morrow to thee, jolly fellow," quoth Robin, "thou seemest happy this merry morn."
    "Ay, that am I," quoth the jolly Butcher, "and why should I not be so? Am I not hale in wind and limb? Have I not the bonniest lass in all Nottinghamshire? And lastly, am I not to be married to her on Thursday next in sweet Locksley Town?"
    * unhale
    Usage notes
    * Now rather uncommon, except in the stock phrase "hale and hearty".

    Etymology 3

    From (etyl) halen, from (etyl) haler, from (etyl) ‘upright beam on a loom’). Doublet of (l).


  • To drag, pull, especially forcibly.
  • * , II.6:
  • For I had beene vilely hurried and haled by those poore men, which had taken the paines to carry me upon their armes a long and wearysome way, and to say truth, they had all beene wearied twice or thrice over, and were faine to shift severall times.
  • * 1820 , (Percy Bysshe Shelley), , :
  • The wingless, crawling hours, one among whom / As some dark Priest hales the reluctant victim / Shall drag thee, cruel King, to kiss the blood.
  • *
  • He tried to persuade Cicely to stay away from the ball-room for a fourth dance..
  • * 1992 , (Hilary Mantel), (A Place of Greater Safety) , Harper Perennial, 2007, page 262:
  • They will hale the King to Paris, and have him under their eye.


    * * ----



    Etymology 1

    (etyl) (m), from (etyl) . More at (l).


  • (uncountable) Grass cut and dried for use as animal fodder.
  • * Camden
  • Make hay while the sun shines.
  • * C. L. Flint
  • Hay may be dried too much as well as too little.
  • (countable) Any mix of green leafy plants used for fodder.
  • (slang) Cannabis; marijuana.
  • * 1947 , William Burroughs, letter, 19 Feb 1947:
  • I would like some of that hay . Enclose $20.
  • A net set around the haunt of an animal, especially a rabbit.
  • (Rowe)
  • (obsolete) A hedge.
  • (obsolete) A circular country dance.
  • to dance the hay
    Derived terms
    * hay fever * hayloft, hay loft * haystack * hayward * hit the hay * make hay while the sun shines


    (en verb)
  • To cut grasses or herb plants for use as animal fodder.
  • To lay snares for rabbits.
  • (Huloet)


    Webster's Online Dictionary article on hay

    Etymology 2

    : From the sound it represents, by analogy with other letters such as kay'' and ''gay''. The expected form in English if the ''h'' had survived in the Latin name of the letter "h", ''h? .


    (en noun)
  • The name of the letter for the h sound in Pitman shorthand.
  • Anagrams

    * * * ----