[ key-lee ]
/ ˈkeɪ li /

noun Irish, Scot., and Canadian (chiefly Prince Edward Island ).

a party, gathering, or the like, at which dancing, singing, and storytelling are the usual forms of entertainment.

Nearby words

  1. ceftriaxone sodium,
  2. cegb,
  3. ceiba,
  4. ceiba, la,
  5. ceil,
  6. ceiling,
  7. ceilometer,
  8. ceinture,
  9. cel,
  10. cela

Origin of ceilidh

< Irish céilidhe, Scots Gaelic cèilidh, MIr célide, derivative of Old Irish céile companion

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ceilidh

British Dictionary definitions for ceilidh


/ (ˈkeɪlɪ) /


(esp in Scotland and Ireland) an informal social gathering with folk music, singing, dancing, and storytelling

Word Origin for ceilidh

C19: from Gaelic

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 ceilidh



1875, from Irish céilidhe, from Old Irish céle "companion," from PIE *kei-liyo-, from root *kei- "beloved, dear," primarily "to lie; bed, couch" (see cemetery).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper