- the upper edge of the side or bulwark of a vessel.
- the sheer strake of a wooden vessel; the uppermost strake beneath the plank-sheer.
- nautical the top of the side of a boat or the topmost plank of a wooden vessel
- full to the gunwales completely full; full to overflowing
mid-15c., gonne walle, from (n.) + wale “plank” (see ). Originally a platform on the deck of a ship to support the mounted guns.