Etymology
Advertisement
wale (n.)

Old English walu "ridge, bank" of earth or stone, later "ridge made on flesh by a lash" (related to weal (n.2)); from Proto-Germanic *walu- (source also of Low German wale "weal," Old Frisian walu "rod," Old Norse völr "round piece of wood," Gothic walus "a staff, stick," Dutch wortel, German wurzel "root"), from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." The common notion perhaps is "raised line." Used in reference to the ridges of textile fabric from 1580s. Wales "horizontal planks which extend along a ship's sides" is attested from late 13c.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
wide (adj.)

Old English wid "vast, broad, long," also used of time, from Proto-Germanic *widaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian wid, Old Norse viðr, Dutch wijd, Old High German wit, German weit), perhaps from PIE *wi-ito-, from root *wi- "apart, away, in half."

Meaning "distended, expanded, spread apart" is from c. 1500; sense of "embracing many subjects" is from 1530s; meaning "missing the intended target" is from 1580s. As a second element in compounds (such as nationwide, worldwide) meaning "extending through the whole of," is is from late Old English. As an adverb, Old English wide. Wide open "unguarded, exposed to attack" (1915) originally was in boxing, etc. Wide awake (adj.) is first recorded 1818; figurative sense of "alert, knowing" is attested from 1833.

Related entries & more 
World-Wide Web (n.)

also World Wide Web, 1990. See worldwide + web (n.).

Related entries & more 
whale (v.2)

"beat, whip severely," 1790, possibly a variant of wale (v.) "to mark with 'wales' or stripes" (early 15c.), from wale (n.). Related: Whaled; whaling.

Related entries & more 
weal (n.2)

"raised mark on skin," 1821, alteration of wale (q.v.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
gunwale (n.)

"uppermost edge of a ship's side," mid-15c., gonne walle, from gun (n.) + wale "plank" (see wale). Originally a platform on the deck of a ship to support the mounted guns.

Related entries & more 
widespread (adj.)

also wide-spread, 1705, from wide + past participle of spread (v.). Earlier was wide-spreading (1590s).

Related entries & more 
eury- 

word-forming element meaning "wide," from Greek eurys "broad, wide," from PIE root *were- (1) "wide, broad" (source also of Sanskrit uruh "broad, wide").

Related entries & more 
wheal (n.)

"mark made on the skin by a whip," 1808, perhaps an alteration of wale, possibly by confusion with weal "welt," and obsolete wheal "pimple, pustule" (mid-15c.), from Old English verb hwelian "to form pus, bring to a head."

Related entries & more