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 gambolling

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

Examples from the Web for gambolling

Historical Examples of gambolling

  • This man's was different: soft, non-intellectual, warm, a kind of gambolling.

    Sons and Lovers

    David Herbert Lawrence

  • In your new garden I picture you gambolling with your children.

    Wagner as I Knew Him

    Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger

  • She then called upon a dog which was gambolling close at hand.

  • Among the tufted bog-rushes, the lambs were gambolling a few yards away.

  • The first we saw was tons of her gambolling around in the water.

    The Belted Seas

    Arthur Colton

British Dictionary definitions for gambolling


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 gambolling



"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