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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.


gallop (plural gallops)

  1. The fastest gait of a horse, a two-beat stride during which all four legs are off the ground simultaneously.



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. To ride at a galloping pace.
    • John Donne
      Gallop lively down the western hill.
  3. To cause to gallop.
    to gallop a horse
  4. 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. To run very fast.
  6. (figuratively) To go rapidly or carelessly, as in making a hasty examination.
    • John Locke
      Such superficial ideas he may collect in galloping over it.