Definition of gallivant
1 : to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex
2 : to travel, roam, or move about for pleasure been gallivanting all over town
gallivant was our Word of the Day on 07/28/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of gallivant in a sentence
They've been gallivanting all over town.
He's been gallivanting around the country when he ought to be looking for a job.
Did You Know?
Back in the 14th century, a young man of fashion (or a ladies' man) was called a gallant. By the late 1600s, gallant was being used as a verb to describe the process a paramour used to win a lady's heart; to gallant became a synonym of "to court." Etymologists think that the spelling of the verb gallant was altered to create gallivant, which originally meant "to act as a gallant" or "to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex." Nowadays, however, gallivant is more likely to describe wandering than romancing.
Origin and Etymology of gallivant
perhaps extended form of 3gallant
First Known Use: 1823
GALLIVANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of gallivant for English Language Learners
: to go or travel to many different places for pleasure
GALLIVANT Defined for Kids
Definition of gallivant for Students
: to travel from place to place doing things for pleasure “Abandoning … his four little children to go gallivanting off on wild adventures …” — Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up gallivant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).