- I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English walu; akin to Old Norse vǫlr staff and perhaps to Old Norse valr round, Latin volvere to roll — more at voluble Date: before 12th century 1. a. a streak or ridge made on the skin especially by the stroke of a whip ; weal b. a narrow raised surface ; ridge 2. any of a number of strakes usually of extra thick and strong planks in the sides of a wooden ship — usually used in plural 3. a. one of a series of even ribs in a fabric b. the texture especially of a fabric 4. a horizontal constructional member (as of timber or steel) used for bracing vertical members II. transitive verb (waled; waling) Date: 15th century to mark (as the skin) with welts III. noun Etymology: Middle English (Scots & northern dialect) wal, from Old Norse val; akin to Old High German wala choice, Old English wyllan to wish — more at will Date: 14th century 1. dialect British choice 2. dialect British the best part ; pick IV. verb Date: 14th century dialect British choose
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.