Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A natural three-beat gait of a horse, faster than a canter, in which all four feet are off the ground at the same time during each stride.
  • n. A fast running motion of other quadrupeds.
  • n. A ride taken at a gallop.
  • n. A rapid pace: Events were proceeding at a gallop.
  • n. Medicine A disordered rhythm of the heart characterized by three or four distinct heart sounds in each cycle and resembling the sound of a galloping horse. Also called cantering rhythm, gallop rhythm.
  • transitive v. To cause to gallop.
  • transitive v. To transport at or as if at a gallop: gallop the mail to the next station.
  • intransitive v. To ride a horse at a gallop.
  • intransitive v. To move or progress swiftly: Summer was galloping by.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The fastest gait of a horse.
  • n. A two-beat stride during which all four legs are off the ground simultaneously
  • v. To ride at a galloping pace
  • v. To make electrical or other utility lines sway and/or move up and down violently, usually due to a combination of high winds and ice accrual on the lines.
  • v. To run very fast

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mode of running by a quadruped, particularly by a horse, by lifting alternately the fore feet and the hind feet, in successive leaps or bounds.
  • intransitive v. To move or run in the mode called a gallop; as a horse; to go at a gallop; to run or move with speed.
  • intransitive v. To ride a horse at a gallop.
  • intransitive v. Fig.: To go rapidly or carelessly, as in making a hasty examination.
  • transitive v. To cause to gallop.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move or run by leaps, as a horse; run with steady and more or less rapid springs. See the noun.
  • To ride a horse that is running; ride at a running pace.
  • To move very fast; scamper.
  • To cause to gallop: as, he galloped his horse all the way.
  • n. A leaping or springing gait or movement of horses (or other quadrupeds), in which the two fore feet are lifted from the ground in succession, and then the two hind feet in the same succession.
  • n. A ride at a gallop; the act of riding an animal on the gallop.
  • n. A kind of dance. See galop.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. ride at a galloping pace
  • v. cause to move at full gallop
  • n. a fast gait of a horse; a two-beat stride during which all four legs are off the ground simultaneously
  • v. go at galloping speed

Etymologies

From Middle English galopen, to go at a gallop, from Old French galoper, of Germanic origin; see wel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English galopen ("to gallop"), from Old French galoper (compare modern French galoper), from Frankish *wala hlaupan ("to run well") from *wala ("well") + *hlaupan ("to run"), from Proto-Germanic *hlaupanan (“to run, leap, spring”), from Proto-Indo-European *klaup-, *klaub- (“to spring, stumble”). Possibly also derived from a deverbal of Frankish walhlaup ("battle run") from *wal ("battlefield") from a Proto-Germanic word meaning "dead, victim, slain" from Proto-Indo-European *wel- (“death in battle, killed in battle”) + *hlaup ("course, track") from *hlaupan ("to run"). More at well, leap, valkyrie. See also the doublet wallop, coming from the same source through an Old Northern French variant. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In order to avoid that risk again, the jockey would have Spread the Word gallop for a mile or two before a race so as to exhaust it.

    The Mob and Me

  • An ambitious and fearless gallop from the jungles of Africa via a shocking encounter on a Nigerian beach to the media offices of London and domesticity in leafy suburbia ...

    Little Bee: Summary and book reviews of Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

  • In charging, I had noticed how they had opened their ranks at the canter and then closed them at the gallop, which isn't easy; now they were doing the same thing as they retired towards the Heights, and I thought, these fellows ain't so slovenly as we thought.

    The Sky Writer

  • It can be either and a gallop is a "no-no" in a harness race.

    Oslo Grand Prix: Horserse

  • The only other pace is a hard gallop, which is the best; you go like the wind over prairie and valley, up and down hill, all the same.

    The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton

  • Charging at the gallop was the one thing the cavaliers did well from the start of the war, he remembered.

    War Game

  • Most people didn't like getting too close to prisoner escorts, no, but leaving at a gallop was a rather extreme reaction.

    The Alembic Plot A Terran Empire novel

  • It cheered one up in the storm, and the lilt of it kept time to the leaping kind of gallop which is the easiest way to run on snowshoes: "Bye, baby bunting; bye, baby bunting -- Hello!"

    Wilderness Ways

  • Another thing: cavalry can trot away from anything, and a gallop is a gait unbecoming a soldier, unless he is going toward the enemy.

    The Romance of the Civil War

  • [Page 265] hard gallop, which is the best; you go like the wind over prairie and valley, up and down hill, all the same.

    The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton

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