ga·​la | \ ˈgā-lə How to pronounce gala (audio) , ˈga- How to pronounce gala (audio) , ˈgä- How to pronounce gala (audio) \

Definition of gala

1 : a festive celebration especially : a public entertainment marking a special occasion
2 capitalized : a medium-sized apple with crisp yellowish-white sweet flesh and a red skin or a golden skin with red striping

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gala

gala adjective

Examples of gala in a Sentence

a grand gala celebrating the town's centennial attended the gala celebrating the reopening of the museum

Recent Examples on the Web

And like its fellow courts, the San Diego chapter holds an annual coronation-ball gala and other events that raise money for many charities. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Drag queens are the stars of a new San Diego History Center exhibit," 21 June 2019 The group will receive the honor at the annual award gala and concert in November. Abbey White,, "Kool & the Gang to receive 2019 Marian Anderson Award on group’s 50th anniversary," 5 June 2019 In between galas and premieres, H.E.R., Nina Dobrev, and Helen Mirren enjoyed the café society life. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "These Celebrity Instagrams from Cannes Will Inspire Major French Riviera Wanderlust," 28 May 2019 Nearly 600 guests attended the gala, and $800,000 was raised toward Tanglewood’s future endeavors. Karen Lubeck, Town & Country, "Leonard Bernstein's Centennial Celebration Concert at Tanglewood," 18 Sep. 2018 The Cannes amfAR gala is a famously glittering affair, with top designers squiring actresses and supermodels in haute couture against the sensational backdrop of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and the Mediterranean behind it. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Giambattista Valli is H&M’s New Designer Collaborator—And His Limited Edition Dresses Are Dropping This Saturday," 23 May 2019 The gala was to raise money for cancer research and Diana wore a bright purple (the school's color) Versace gown for the occasion. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Princess Diana and Meghan Markle Both Spent Time at Northwesten University in Chicago," 8 Sep. 2018 Organizers will also honor people and organizations at the gala, including hip-hop artist Jay Park and R&B jazz band Hiroshima. Janie Har, The Seattle Times, "Asian Americans push for Smithsonian gallery of their own," 19 May 2019 This is the morning of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House gala, the annual fundraiser for the non-profit of the same name, a onetime settlement house on New York's Upper East Side that serves some 15,000 New Yorkers annually. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "See How 32 Designers Transform a Dining Room in Just a Few Hours," 3 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gala.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gala

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gala

borrowed from French, borrowed from Spanish, "elegance, pomp, occasion marked by display," borrowed from Middle French gale "festivity, pleasure" — more at gallant entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gala

Dictionary Entries near gala








Statistics for gala

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gala

The first known use of gala was in 1777

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gala



English Language Learners Definition of gala

: a public party or celebration


ga·​la | \ ˈgā-lə How to pronounce gala (audio) , ˈga-lə, ˈgä-\

Kids Definition of gala

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large showy celebration We attended our town's 100th anniversary gala.



Kids Definition of gala (Entry 2 of 2)

: being or resembling a large showy celebration gala events

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gala

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gala

Spanish Central: Translation of gala

Nglish: Translation of gala for Spanish Speakers

Comments on gala

What made you want to look up gala? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!