• synonyms


noun Irish, Scot., and Canadian (chiefly Prince Edward Island ).
  1. a party, gathering, or the like, at which dancing, singing, and storytelling are the usual forms of entertainment.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for ceilidh

Historical Examples of ceilidh

  • As for the superstition of the tales of ceilidh and buaile-mhart I have little to say.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • The fire in the centre of the room was almost a necessity of the good old Ceilidh days.

  • At the evening ceilidh a competent reader of Gaelic can usually be found.

  • They say these "ceilidh" are not yet altogether given up in Gairloch parish.

    Gairloch In North-West Ross-Shire

    John H. Dixon, F.S.A. Scot

British Dictionary definitions for ceilidh


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper