or gal·a·vant

[ gal-uh-vant, gal-uh-vant ]
/ ˈgæl əˌvænt, ˌgæl əˈvænt /

verb (used without object)

to wander about, seeking pleasure or diversion; gad.
to go about with members of the opposite sex.

Nearby words

  1. gallipot,
  2. gallium,
  3. gallium arsenide,
  4. gallium-67,
  5. gallium-68,
  6. galliwasp,
  7. gallnut,
  8. gallo,
  9. gallo-,
  10. gallo-romance

Origin of gallivant

First recorded in 1815–25; perhaps fanciful alteration of gallant

Related formsgal·li·vant·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gallivanting

British Dictionary definitions for gallivanting


galivant or galavant

/ (ˈɡælɪˌvænt) /


(intr) to go about in search of pleasure; gad about

Word Origin for gallivant

C19: perhaps whimsical modification of 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 gallivanting



1809, probably a playful elaboration of gallant in an obsolete verbal sense of "play the gallant, flirt, gad about." Related: Gallivanted; gallivanting.

Young Lobski said to his ugly wife,
"I'm off till to-morrow to fish, my life;"
Says Mrs. Lobski, "I'm sure you a'nt",
But you brute you are going to gallivant."

What Mrs. Lobski said was right,
Gay Mr. Lobski was out all night.
He ne'er went to fish, 'tis known very well
But where he went I shall not tell.

["Songs from the Exile," in "Literary Panorama," London, 1809]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper