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[gam-buh l] /ˈgæm bəl/
verb (used without object), gamboled, gamboling or (especially British) gambolled, gambolling.
to skip about, as in dancing or playing; frolic.
a skipping or frisking about; frolic.
Origin of gambol
1495-1505; earlier gambold, gambald, gamba(u)de, from Middle French gambade, variant of gambado2
Can be confused
gamble, gambol.
1. spring, caper, frisk, romp. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gambol
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Perhaps there was in her something of the feline; the instinct of the cat to gambol with its prey.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales C. Bryson Taylor
  • Lambs, it is true, gambol, but in due time they all get fleeced.

    Crankisms Lisle de Vaux Matthewman
  • Mr. Heath, bring on your Chinese and let them gambol and frisk.

    The Readjustment Will Irwin
  • No one was in sight, and he was free to gambol as much as he pleased.

    A Chosen Few Frank R. Stockton
  • Through its middle runs a large hall for the kids to gambol in.

    Alamo Ranch Sarah Warner Brooks
  • Make me your squirrel—I'll put on your chain, and gambol and play for ever at your side.

  • I liked a bit of a gambol when I was a winikin bit of a pisky maid myself.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • He was said to be very fond of his master, and to gambol with him like a dog.

  • "If you work as you gambol, I shouldn't think you'd be much in demand," laughed Judith.


    Howard Vincent O'Brien
British Dictionary definitions for gambol


verb -bols, -bolling, -bolled (US) -bols, -boling, -boled
(intransitive) to skip or jump about in a playful manner; frolic
a playful antic; frolic
Word Origin
C16: from French gambade; see gambado², jamb
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 gambol

"frolic, merrymaking," 1590s, originally gambolde "a leap or spring" (c.1500), from Middle French gambade (15c.), from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg," from Greek kampe "a bending" (on notion of "a joint"), from PIE *kamp- "to bend" (see campus).


1580s; earlier gambade (c.1500), from Middle French gambader, from gambade (see gambol (n.)). Related: Gamboled; gamboling; gambolling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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