[ gey-luh, gal-uh; especially British gah-luh ]
/ ˈgeɪ lə, ˈgæl ə; especially British ˈgɑ lə /


festive; festal; showy: Her birthday parties were always gala occasions.


a festive occasion; celebration; special entertainment: a gala featuring opera stars in their most famous scenes.
festal pomp or dress.



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Origin of gala

1615–25; < French < Italian < Old French; see gallant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for gala

British Dictionary definitions for gala

/ (ˈɡɑːlə, ˈɡeɪlə) /


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

Word Origin for gala

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