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[gal-uh-vant, gal-uh-vant] /ˈgæl əˌvænt, ˌgæl əˈvænt/
verb (used without object)


or galavant

[gal-uh-vant, gal-uh-vant] /ˈgæl əˌvænt, ˌgæl əˈvænt/
verb (used without object)
to wander about, seeking pleasure or diversion; gad.
to go about with members of the opposite sex.
Origin of gallivant
First recorded in 1815-25; perhaps fanciful alteration of gallant
Related forms
gallivanter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for galavanting
Historical Examples
  • Your father and your uncle Asa and Bill off galavanting around and fighting when they ought to be protecting their home!

    The Little Regiment Stephen Crane
  • This is a fine thing, this is, keeping me watching and waiting these hours, while you have been galavanting—ah!

    Talkers John Bate
British Dictionary definitions for galavanting


(intransitive) to go about in search of pleasure; gad about
Word Origin
C19: perhaps whimsical modification of gallant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for galavanting



1809, probably a playful elaboration of gallant in an obsolete verbal sense of "play the gallant, flirt, gad about." Related: Gallivanted; gallivanting.

Young Lobski said to his ugly wife,
"I'm off till to-morrow to fish, my life;"
Says Mrs. Lobski, "I'm sure you a'nt",
But you brute you are going to gallivant."

What Mrs. Lobski said was right,
Gay Mr. Lobski was out all night.
He ne'er went to fish, 'tis known very well
But where he went I shall not tell.

["Songs from the Exile," in "Literary Panorama," London, 1809]



variant of gallivant. Related: Galavanted; galavanting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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