- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gallivant
In the mean time, Mr. Gallivant had returned to his law office.
The next day Mr. Gallivant was at his office bright and early.
In an instant Mr. Gallivant was all repose—all serenity and ease.
In fact, what he wanted her to do, he said, was to gallivant—to gallivant all day long.Miss Billy Married
Eleanor H. Porter
She's needed here and ain't got no call to gallivant off to New York and beyont with a strange man, beauty or no beauty.Rose of Old Harpeth
Maria Thompson Daviess
galivant or galavant
- (intr) to go about in search of pleasure; gad about
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
Word Origin and History for gallivant
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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper