verb (used without object), gam·boled, gam·bol·ing or (especially British) gam·bolled, gam·bol·ling.

to skip about, as in dancing or playing; frolic.


a skipping or frisking about; frolic.

Origin of gambol

1495–1505; earlier gambold, gambald, gamba(u)de, from Middle French gambade, variant of gambado2
Can be confusedgamble gambol

Synonyms for gambol Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gambol

Contemporary Examples of gambol

Historical Examples of gambol

  • Perhaps there was in her something of the feline; the instinct of the cat to gambol with its prey.

  • Lambs, it is true, gambol, but in due time they all get fleeced.


    Lisle de Vaux Matthewman

  • Mr. Heath, bring on your Chinese and let them gambol and frisk.

  • No one was in sight, and he was free to gambol as much as he pleased.

    A Chosen Few

    Frank R. Stockton

  • Through its middle runs a large hall for the kids to gambol in.

    Alamo Ranch

    Sarah Warner Brooks

British Dictionary definitions for gambol


verb -bols, -bolling or -bolled or US -bols, -boling or -boled

(intr) to skip or jump about in a playful manner; frolic


a playful antic; frolic

Word Origin for gambol

C16: from French gambade; see gambado ², jamb
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 gambol

"frolic, merrymaking," 1590s, originally gambolde "a leap or spring" (c.1500), from Middle French gambade (15c.), from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg," from Greek kampe "a bending" (on notion of "a joint"), from PIE *kamp- "to bend" (see campus).


1580s; earlier gambade (c.1500), from Middle French gambader, from gambade (see gambol (n.)). Related: Gamboled; gamboling; gambolling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper