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Alternative forms[edit]


1809, from gallant (wooing women),[1] originally in sense “to flirt”, broadened to mean “roaming without plan”.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɡæl.ɪ.vænt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡæl.ɪ.vænt/, /ˌɡæl.əˈvænt/
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  • Rhymes: -ænt


gallivant (third-person singular simple present gallivants, present participle gallivanting, simple past and past participle gallivanted)

  1. (intransitive) To roam about for pleasure without any definite plan.
    Synonym: gad
    • 1914, Eleanor H. Porter, chapter 18, in Miss Billy – Married, page 214:
      Bertram, it is true, when he heard of the plan, rebelled, and asserted that what Billy needed was a rest, an entire rest from care and labor. In fact, what he wanted her to do, he said, was to gallivant – to gallivant all day long.
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      The episode also opens with an inspired bit of business for Homer, who blithely refuses to acquiesce to an elderly neighbor’s utterly reasonable request that he help make the process of selling her house easier by wearing pants when he gallivants about in front of windows, throw out his impressive collection of rotting Jack-O-Lanterns from previous Halloweens and take out his garbage, as it’s attracting wildlife (cue moose and Northern Exposure theme song).
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To flirt, to romance.



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “gallivant”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.