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

Definition of galumph

intransitive verb

: to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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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." Etymologists suspect Carroll created "galumph" by altering the word gallop, perhaps throwing in a pinch of "triumphant" for good measure (in its earliest uses, "galumph" did 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, "2019 in review: Protest and global warming," 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, "‘I remember when there used to be...’," 30 Oct. 2019 There are also stretches of galumphing humor that go on too long. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: An Ecstatic ‘Rosenkavalier’ Introduces a Conductor to Carnegie," 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, "Louisville basketball is finding its level, and it's lower | Tim Sullivan," 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, "When the Truth Is Crazy," 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,, "'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' review: DeHaan, Cara Delevingne on a mangled quest," 20 July 2017

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

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First Known Use of galumph

1872, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for galumph

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."

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Time Traveler for galumph

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The first known use of galumph was in 1872

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Cite this Entry

“Galumph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for galumph


How to pronounce galumph (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of galumph

informal : to move in a loud and clumsy way


ga·​lumph | \ gə-ˈləmf \
galumphed; galumphing

Kids Definition of galumph

: to move in a loud and clumsy way

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