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

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Example Sentences

a grand gala celebrating the town's centennial attended the gala celebrating the reopening of the museum
Recent Examples on the Web The gala includes entertainment by the Indiana Ballet Theatre Dance Company and local magician Jim Klodzen, open dancing, raffles and games. Jessi Virtusio, Chicago Tribune, 23 Sep. 2022 The gala brings together many notable guests, including heads of state, diplomats, government officials, business and civil society leaders and scholars. Melissa Noel, Essence, 23 Sep. 2022 Portland Timbers midfielder George Fochive is hosting an art gala displaying his works in Portland on Oct. 6, the culmination of a lifetime of experiences and a newfound commitment to a longtime passion. oregonlive, 23 Sep. 2022 Daughters Gracie, then 21, Audrey, 16 and Maggie, 19 joined their mom and dad at the Time 100 gala in 2015. Jocelyn Vena, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2022 The gala was held in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Staff Writer Follow, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2022 Sponsors for this year’s gala include title sponsor Paul Mitchell and Tiffany & Co., City National Bank, Volvo Cars USA and Prada. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Sep. 2022 On September 15, Variety announced that the Duchess of Sussex was chosen as one of this year's honorees for their Women in Power issue and gala, which will take place in Los Angeles later this month. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 15 Sep. 2022 The gala was held at 180 House and broadcast across Soho House’s digital platforms, including Instagram and TikTok. Marc Malkin, Variety, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


borrowed from French, borrowed from Spanish, "elegance, pomp, occasion marked by display," borrowed from Middle French gale "festivity, pleasure" — more at gallant entry 1

First Known Use

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gala was in 1777

Dictionary Entries Near gala

Cite this Entry

“Gala.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition

gala 1 of 2


ga·​la ˈgā-lə How to pronounce gala (audio)
: a large showy celebration
We attended our town's 100th anniversary gala.


2 of 2


: being or resembling a large showy celebration
gala events

More from Merriam-Webster on gala

Last Updated: 27 Sep 2022

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