GAL'LEY, noun plural galleys. [Latin galea. The Latin word signifies a helmet, the top of a mast, and a galley; and the name of this vessel seems to have been derived from the head-piece, or kind of basket-work, at mast-head.]
1. A low flat-built vessel, with one deck, and navigated with sails and oars; used in the Mediterranean. The largest sort of galleys, employed by the Venetians, are 162 feet in length, or 133 feet keel. They have three masts and thirty two banks of oars; each bank containing two oars, and each oar managed by six or seven slaves. In the fore-part they carry three small batteries of cannon.
2. A place of toil and misery.
3. An open boat used on the Thames by custom-house officers, press-gangs, and for pleasure.
4. The cook room or kitchen of a ship of war; answering to the caboose of a merchantman.
5. An oblong reverberatory furnace, with a row of retorts whose necks protrude through lateral openings.