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See also: Gallop



From Middle English galopen (to gallop), from Old French galoper (compare modern French galoper), from Frankish *wala hlaupan (to run well), from *wala (well) + *hlaupan (to run), from Proto-Germanic *hlaupaną (to run, leap, spring), from Proto-Indo-European *klaup-, *klaub- (to spring, stumble). Possibly also derived from a deverbal of Frankish *walhlaup (battle run) from *wal (battlefield) from a Proto-Germanic word meaning "dead, victim, slain" from Proto-Indo-European *wel- (death in battle, killed in battle) + *hlaup (course, track) from *hlaupan (to run).

More at well, leap, valkyrie. See also the doublet wallop, coming from the same source through an Old Northern French variant.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡæləp/
  • (file)
  • Homophone: Gallup


gallop (plural gallops)

  1. The fastest gait of a horse, a two-beat stride during which all four legs are off the ground simultaneously.
  2. An act or instance of going or running rapidly.
    • 2013 March 18, The "Girls" Roundtable, “The 'Girls' Season-Finale Gut Check: And Hannah Lived Happily Ever After?”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      Charlie and Marnie fought at brunch and then confessed their undying love for each other; Ray got promoted by his coffee-shop boss and then dumped by his croissant-purse-toting girlfriend; and Hannah, with a deadline looming, her OCD blaring, and all her friends elsewhere, desperately FaceTimed Adam—who took a shirtless, rom-commy gallop across Brooklyn to meet her.
  3. (cardiology) An abnormal rhythm of the heart, made up of three or four sounds, like a horse's gallop.
  4. (music) A rhythm consisting of an 8th note followed by two 16th notes, resembling a horse's gallop.
    A gallop rhythm:
    \drums{\repeat unfold4{wbl8wbh16 16}}

Derived terms[edit]



gallop (third-person singular simple present gallops, present participle galloping, simple past and past participle galloped)

  1. (intransitive, of a horse, etc) To run at a gallop.
    The horse galloped past the finishing line.
  2. (intransitive) To ride at a galloping pace.
    • a. 1631, John Donne, Epithalamion Made at Lincoln's Inn:
      Gallop lively down the western hill.
  3. (transitive) To cause to gallop.
    to gallop a horse
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To make electrical or other utility lines sway and/or move up and down violently, usually due to a combination of high winds and ice accrual on the lines.
  5. (intransitive) To run very fast.
    • 2012 September 15, Amy Lawrence, “Arsenal's Gervinho enjoys the joy of six against lowly Southampton”, in the Guardian[2]:
      In the 11th minute the German won possession in midfield and teed up the galloping Kieran Gibbs, whose angled shot was pushed by Kelvin Davies straight into the retreating Jos Hooiveld.
  6. (figurative, intransitive) To go rapidly or carelessly, as in making a hasty examination.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: [], London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], published 1706, →OCLC:
      Such superficial ideas he may collect in galloping over it.
    • 1847, Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey:
      Soon after breakfast Miss Matilda, having galloped and blundered through a few unprofitable lessons, and vengeably thumped the piano for an hour, in a terrible humour with both me and it, because her mama would not give her a holiday, []
  7. (intransitive, of an infection, especially pneumonia) To progress rapidly through the body.