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

Related Words for gambolled

frolic, prance, cavort, caper, play, rollick, hop, romp, spring, bound, jump, revel, leap, cut, frisk, skip, lark, roister, sport

Examples from the Web for gambolled

Historical Examples of gambolled

  • At eight oclock they started, accompanied by Duk, who frisked and gambolled with delight.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • He ran, gambolled, and sang for happiness when he saw all this living water.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • He never played and gambolled about with the other puppies of the camp.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • It was a very nice-looking kid, and it frisked and gambolled most alluringly.

    Under the Red Crescent

    Charles S. Ryan

  • Giles seized his and rolled it along the floor and gambolled after it.

British Dictionary definitions for gambolled


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 gambolled



"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