Definition of gallant in English:
- Here he once again proved that he was a brave and gallant soldier.
- There was very little separating the players on the day, but it was young Larry who took the honours from a gallant loser Joe.
- The total figure raised by these gallant ladies on their Sit Out Night in aid of Newry Hospice in December amounted to £2,700 and 1,700 euro.
- It is not probable that she consciously deliberates; but she is… attracted by the most beautiful, or melodious, or gallant males.
- The first Crusader army formed in a gallant, chivalric manner, as a by-product of a tournament help in Champagne in November 1199.
- A tour of the Hermitage today includes the thrilling rags-to-riches story of a gallant frontiersman, chivalrous romantic, and political reformer.
- In the past, great love affairs often began with the judicious dropping of a glove and its recovery by a charming gallant.
- The games of love involve Florinda, who is destined to marry an old rich man or her brother's friend, and Belville, a young gallant who rescues her and wins her heart.
- There must be routs and balls beneath sparkling chandeliers, where young gallants whirl sloe-eyed, bare-shouldered girls in the schottische and the carmagnole.
- The play scoffs at citizens like Gertrude who marry above their station; at wannabe gallants like Quicksilver the apprentice; and at ‘false’ gentlemen such as the new-made knight Sir Petronel Flash.
- If these markings imply that readers were not all young town gallants ensconced in taverns or on the fringes of court, being lascivious, witty, and drunk, so does the tantalizing case of Leonard Wheatcroft.
Middle English (in the sense 'finely dressed'): from Old French galant, from galer 'have fun, make a show', from gale 'pleasure, rejoicing'.
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.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.