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gallant

[adjective gal-uh nt for 1, 3, 4; guh-lant, -lahnt, gal-uh nt for 2, 5; noun guh-lant, -lahnt, gal-uh nt; verb guh-lant, -lahnt]
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adjective
  1. brave, spirited, noble-minded, or chivalrous: a gallant knight; a gallant rescue attempt.
  2. exceptionally polite and attentive to women; courtly.
  3. stately; grand: a gallant pageant.
  4. showy, colorful, or stylish, as in dress; magnificent.
  5. amorous; amatory.
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noun
  1. a brave, noble-minded, or chivalrous man.
  2. a man exceptionally attentive to women.
  3. a stylish and dashing man.
  4. a suitor or lover.
  5. a paramour.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to court or act as a lover of (a woman).
  2. to escort (a woman).
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verb (used without object)
  1. to attend or pay court as a gallant.
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Origin of gallant

1350–1400; Middle English gala(u)nt < Old French galant, present participle of galer to amuse oneself, make merry < Gallo-Romance *walāre, derivative of Frankish *wala good, happy; see well1, weal1
Related formsgal·lant·ly, adverbgal·lant·ness, nounqua·si-gal·lant, adjectivequa·si-gal·lant·ly, adverbsu·per·gal·lant, adjectivesu·per·gal·lant·ly, adverbsu·per·gal·lant·ness, nounun·gal·lant, adjectiveun·gal·lant·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. valorous, courageous, heroic, bold, daring, intrepid. 2. chivalrous, courteous.

Synonym study

1. See brave.

Gallant

[gal-uh nt]
noun
  1. Mavis,1922–2014, Canadian short-story writer.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gallant

gallant

adjective (ˈɡælənt)
  1. brave and high-spirited; courageous and honourable; dashinga gallant warrior
  2. (ɡəˈlænt, ˈɡælənt) (of a man) attentive to women; chivalrous
  3. imposing; dignified; statelya gallant ship
  4. archaic showy in dress
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noun (ˈɡælənt, ɡəˈlænt) archaic
  1. a woman's lover or suitor
  2. a dashing or fashionable young man, esp one who pursues women
  3. a brave, high-spirited, or adventurous man
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verb (ɡəˈlænt, ˈɡælənt) rare
  1. (when intr, usually foll by with) to court or flirt (with)
  2. (tr) to attend or escort (a woman)
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Derived Formsgallantly, adverbgallantness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French galant, from galer to make merry, from gale enjoyment, pleasure, of Germanic origin; related to Old English wela weal ²
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 gallant

adj.

mid-15c., "showy, finely dressed; gay, merry," from Old French galant "courteous," earlier "amusing, entertaining; lively, bold" (14c.), present participle of galer "rejoice, make merry," generally held to be from Latinized verb form of Frankish *wala- "good, well," from Proto-Germanic *wal- (cf. Old High German wallon "to wander, go on a pilgrimage"), from PIE *wel- "to wish, will" (see will (v.)), "but the transition of sense offers difficulties that are not fully cleared up" [OED]. Sense of "politely attentive to women" was adopted 17c. from French.

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n.

"man of fashion and pleasure," mid-15c., earlier "dissolute man, rake" (early 15c.); from gallant (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper