Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

gala

[gey-luh, gal-uh; especially British gah-luh]
See more synonyms for gala on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. festive; festal; showy: Her birthday parties were always gala occasions.
Show More
noun
  1. a festive occasion; celebration; special entertainment: a gala featuring opera stars in their most famous scenes.
  2. festal pomp or dress.
Show More

Origin of gala

1615–25; < French < Italian < Old French; see gallant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

joyfulfestivefestivityfunctionpageantjamboreedancefiestashindigprombashcelebrationgayaffairto-doballroastcarnivalblowoutdo

Examples from the Web for gala

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for gala

gala

noun
    1. a celebration; festive occasion
    2. (as modifier)a gala occasion
  1. mainly British a sporting occasion involving competitions in several eventsa swimming gala
Show More

Word Origin

C17: from French or Italian, from Old French gale pleasure, from Old French galer to make merry, probably of Germanic origin; compare 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 gala

n.

1620s, "festive dress or attire," from French en gala, perhaps from Old French gale "merriment," from galer "rejoice, make merry" (see gallant). Klein suggests the French word is from Italian gala (as in phrase vestito di gala "robe of state"), perhaps from Arabic khil'a "fine garment given as a presentation." Sense of "festive occasion" (characterized by display of finery) first recorded 1777.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper