[AS. hagel.] Frozen water falling from the clouds. There are two kinds of hail, the small grains, which often fall in winter, and generally come before snow; and larger hail, which falls usually in hot weather. The first kind is caused by the freezing of rain drops as they fall through air colder than that from which they started. How the second kind is formed is not well known. It is supposed to be the result of a tornado whirl in the upper air. Sometimes the particles of hail meeting congeal into large masses called hailstones. These hailstones often do great harm to crops.