gala

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

adjective

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

noun

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

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of gala

1615–25; <French <Italian <Old French; see gallant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for gala

British Dictionary definitions for gala

gala
/ (ˈɡɑːlə, ˈɡeɪlə) /

noun

  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