Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gallivanting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He has too many serious affairs of life in hand to be in the humour for gallivanting.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • I will have no gallivanting, no cozening and smiling and prating and distracting.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • She refuses, thinking he has been gallivanting with some other lady.

  • He's been gallivanting again after that ill-bred Miss Catfish.

    Two in a Zoo Curtis Dunham
  • Surely she must be gallivanting with that young sergeant of engineers.

    Maximina Armando Palacio Valds
  • You come to my house, do one day's solid work, and then get gallivanting off with an exploration party.

    The Hero of Panama

    F. S. Brereton
  • Anyway, the master's off gallivanting for the day, and mayhap it'll take his mind off the mills a bit.

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for gallivanting


(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gallivanting



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for gallivanting

Word Value for gallivanting

Scrabble Words With Friends