[adjective gal-uhnt for 1, 3, 4; guh-lant, -lahnt, gal-uhnt for 2, 5; noun guh-lant, -lahnt, gal-uhnt; verb guh-lant, -lahnt]
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  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.
  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.
verb (used with object)
  1. to court or act as a lover of (a woman).
  2. to escort (a woman).
verb (used without object)
  1. to attend or pay court as a gallant.

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 for gallant

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Synonym study

1. See brave.


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

Examples from the Web for gallant

Contemporary Examples of gallant

Historical Examples of gallant

British Dictionary definitions for 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
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
verb (ɡəˈlænt, ˈɡælənt) rare
  1. (when intr, usually foll by with) to court or flirt (with)
  2. (tr) to attend or escort (a woman)
Derived Formsgallantly, adverbgallantness, noun

Word Origin for gallant

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

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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper