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

Synonym study

1. See brave.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ungallant

Historical Examples of ungallant

  • He stood where she had left him, and breathed a most ungallant prayer of thanks.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • You're the first man who ever was so ungallant as to tell me he would be grateful to have me leave him.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • "And break your pretty neck," answered the ungallant father with indignation.

  • The ungallant sentiment of the first three stanzas is obvious.

  • And you are as unresourceful as you are ungallant, Monsieur.

    Riviera Towns

    Herbert Adams Gibbons

British Dictionary definitions for ungallant


adjective (ˈɡælənt)

brave and high-spirited; courageous and honourable; dashinga gallant warrior
(ɡəˈlænt, ˈɡælənt) (of a man) attentive to women; chivalrous
imposing; dignified; statelya gallant ship
archaic showy in dress

noun (ˈɡælənt, ɡəˈlænt) archaic

a woman's lover or suitor
a dashing or fashionable young man, esp one who pursues women
a brave, high-spirited, or adventurous man

verb (ɡəˈlænt, ˈɡælənt) rare

(when intr, usually foll by with) to court or flirt (with)
(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 ungallant



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