Definition of gallivant in English:
verb[no object, with adverbial] informal
- After gallivanting round the globe, seeking pleasures afar, indulging in greed and commercialism, the scandal and the posturing were all supposed to be left behind as we were reintroduced to more homely joys.
- Compared to other countries that have thousands of their nationals gallivanting in all corners of the globe Zambia is relatively comfortable and able to provide for its people.
- Still, there are the perks - travel benefits and the simple thrill of living a life that involves gallivanting across the globe.
Early 19th century: perhaps an alteration of gallant.
gallant from Middle English:
Gallant at one time could describe an attractive or fine-looking woman. Here is the poet John Lyly writing in 1579: ‘This gallant girl, more fair than fortunate, and yet more fortunate than faithful’. It was also once used to mean ‘excellent, splendid, or noble’, as in ‘A more gallant and beautiful armada never before quitted the shores of Spain’ (William H. Prescott, 1838). Gallant came into English in the Middle Ages in the sense ‘finely dressed’, from Old French galant ‘celebrating’, from gale ‘pleasure or rejoicing’, also the source of gala (early 17th century). The modern sense ‘politely attentive to women’ was adopted from French into English in the 17th century. Gallivant (early 19th century), meaning ‘to go from place to place in pursuit of pleasure’, may be a playful alteration of gallant.
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