ga·​lumph gə-ˈləm(p)f How to pronounce galumph (audio)
galumphed; galumphing; galumphs

intransitive verb

: to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Did you know?

Bump, thump, thud. There's no doubt about it—when someone or something galumphs onto the scene, ears take notice. Galumph first lumbered onto the English scene in 1872 when Lewis Carroll used the word to describe the actions of the vanquisher of the Jabberwock in Through the Looking Glass: "He left it dead, and with its head / He went galumphing back." Carroll likely constructed the word by splicing gallop and triumphant (galumph did in its earliest uses convey a sense of exultant bounding). Other 19th-century writers must have liked the sound of galumph, because they began plying it in their own prose, and it has been clumping around our language ever since.

Examples of galumph in a Sentence

I could hear him galumphing around in the attic. the Great Dane galumphed across the floor to greet us
Recent Examples on the Web Another way in which people’s carbon footprints become especially galumphing is through air travel, notably in first class. The Economist, 28 Dec. 2019 There used to be campus dogs galumphing around the quad, fat on a diet of student pizza and potato chips. Beth Thames , al, 30 Oct. 2019 There are also stretches of galumphing humor that go on too long. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2018 North Carolina’s Luke Maye launched it in desperation and off-balance, with all of the grace of a grandpa galumphing through a three-legged race. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 18 Feb. 2018 His margin may well have been provided by the FBI and U.S. intelligence establishment’s galumphing intervention in the Hillary Clinton email matter. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 1 Sep. 2017 The problem for Besson's movie, besides the problems with the movie itself, is its late arrival, galumphing into theaters so many years after so many recyclers and copycats. Michael Phillips,, 20 July 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'galumph.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps blend of gallop entry 1 and triumphant

Note: Coined by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lewis dodgson) in the poem "Jabberwocky" (1872), apparently in the sense "to march exultingly."

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of galumph was in 1872


Dictionary Entries Near galumph

Cite this Entry

“Galumph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ga·​lumph gə-ˈləm(p)f How to pronounce galumph (audio)
: to move in a loud and clumsy way
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