Definition of gallivant
- been gallivanting all over town
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They've been gallivanting all over town.
He's been gallivanting around the country when he ought to be looking for a job.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gallivant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
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to lessen the seriousness or strength of
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