gambol

verb
gam·​bol | \ ˈgam-bəl How to pronounce gambol (audio) \
gamboled or gambolled; gamboling or gambolling\ ˈgam-​bə-​liŋ How to pronounce gambol (audio) also  -​bliŋ \

Definition of gambol

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to skip about in play : frisk, frolic

gambol

noun

Definition of gambol (Entry 2 of 2)

: a skipping or leaping about in play

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for gambol

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Verb

In Middle French, the noun "gambade" referred to the frisky spring of a jumping horse. In the early 1500s, the English word gambol romped into print as both a verb and a noun. (The noun means "a skipping or leaping about in play.") The English word is not restricted to horses, but rather can be used of any frolicsome creature. It is a word that suggests levity and spontaneity, and it tends to be used especially of the lively activity of children or animals engaged in active play.

Examples of gambol in a Sentence

Verb lambs gamboling in the meadow dog owners chat while their pooches gambol on the park's great lawn Noun she and her old college roommate headed off for one final European gambol before returning to the States to start their separate careers
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The unusual attraction, which opened Friday, features 21 guest rooms that look out over an indoor enclosure where the bears gambol across a floor painted to look like an ice floe. Washington Post, "China’s newest attraction, a hotel with live polar bears, is already fully booked," 18 Mar. 2021 Kids and dogs were free to gambol through the large parlors and 11 modestly sized bedrooms upstairs, and there were lots of books to read on the pillared porch. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "In Connecticut, a House That Blurs the Boundaries of Time and Place," 30 Sep. 2020 Our first thought was to try to extend our food supply by fishing, but the flood had brought down so much food that the large specimens gambolling around our pontoon ignored our tastiest baits. Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 30–April 5," 5 Apr. 2020 What’s left is a shimmering sensibility that gambols freely in a new age. Matt Cooper, Los Angeles Times, "Theater in L.A. this week: Mike Birbiglia, ‘Department of Dreams’ and more," 16 Oct. 2019 But for the launch of two works by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone, guests gamboled across Fort Mason’s Great Meadow. Catherine Bigelow, SFChronicle.com, "Storied architect Art Gensler says Warriors ‘pushed the boundaries’ with Chase Center," 6 Nov. 2019 When the heavens open, many happily sing and gambol in the rain. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "The climate activists preparing for arrest," 12 Oct. 2019 This gamboling musical adaptation, in which words spin freely as both spoken and sung non sequitur, celebrates circularity in all its manifold resonances. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The Odyssey’s ‘In Circles’ stylishly revives a ’60s Gertrude Stein musical experiment," 17 Sep. 2019 And where earlier series featured grown humans gamboling in costume, the new one is made as puppet animation, the most magical of animated mediums. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "Review: 'Moon and Me,' from a mind behind 'Teletubbies,' has a dreamy charm," 6 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In my backyard, rabbits gambol, squirrels leap and the birds sing with a new exuberance now that there’s no traffic noise from the nearby highway. Claire Messud, WSJ, "A Moment for Inward Pilgrimages," 30 Apr. 2020 Designed by Amanda Villalobos, the prehistoric arthropods in this show gambol about with googly eyes and flicking antennas and tails. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "Can Puppets Save the World From Extinction?," 10 Feb. 2020 The other villagers are at first just part of the magnificent landscape in which the couple gambol, before their gossip and shunning and sabotaging begin to personify the evil that has encroached. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "The Heavy-Handed Moralism of Terrence Malick’s New Film," 13 Dec. 2019 Underneath, a river otter gambols on a rocky beach. Lynn Jacobson, The Seattle Times, "Paddle a kayak from Fort Worden for a waterside tour of Port Townsend," 23 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of gambol

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1510, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gambol

Verb

in part verbal derivative of gambol entry 2, in part borrowing (assimilated to the noun) from Middle French gambader, verbal derivative of gambade

Noun

earlier "leap of a horse, leap, caper," probably apocopated variant of gambold, gambald, re-formation (by association with French-derived words, as ribald entry 2, ending in the suffix -aud, -auld) of gambade, borrowed from Middle French, probably borrowed from Occitan cambado, gambado, from camba "leg" (going back to Late Latin camba, gamba) + -ado -ade — more at jamb

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gambol

Listen to Our Podcast about gambol

Statistics for gambol

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gambol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gambol. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gambol

gambol

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gambol

: to run or jump in a lively way

gambol

verb
gam·​bol | \ ˈgam-bəl How to pronounce gambol (audio) \
gamboled or gambolled; gamboling or gambolling

Kids Definition of gambol

: to run or play happily : frolic Children gamboled on the lawn.

More from Merriam-Webster on gambol

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gambol

Nglish: Translation of gambol for Spanish Speakers

Comments on gambol

What made you want to look up gambol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!