Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To roam about in search of pleasure or amusement. synonym: wander.
  • intransitive verb To play around amorously; flirt.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To gad about; spend time frivolously or in pleasure-seeking, especially with the opposite sex.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb Slang To play the beau; to wait upon the ladies; also, to roam about for pleasure without any definite plan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To roam about for pleasure without any definite plan.
  • verb intransitive, obsolete To flirt, to romance.

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

  • verb wander aimlessly in search of pleasure

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps alteration of gallant.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1809, from gallant ("wooing women"), originally in sense “to flirt”, broadened to mean “roaming without plan”.

Examples

Comments

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  • A word of my childhood. If we were going out for the day, we'd be off gallivanting, or as my mum used to say "going there and back to see how far it is."

    October 12, 2007

  • Does seem a word from a bygone age. Do you think people still do much gallivanting?

    November 11, 2007

  • When I hear it used seriously nowadays, it's with a pejorative connotation--e.g. "We're here working our asses off, and you're out gallivanting around!"

    But I do hear it occasionally. Whether people today are gallivanting in the true spirit of "gallivant," though, is open to debate.

    November 11, 2007

  • I like to gallivant.

    November 11, 2007

  • My family gallivants all the time. It's one of our favorite words and activities. If we call my parents and no one answers, we say they're out gallivanting: out on some local expedition for fun.

    November 12, 2007

  • I regret that my gallivanting days are mostly behind me. At least my vanting is less galli than it used to be.

    November 12, 2007

  • Wait... yarb? Are you still in Peru? How did you get there, if you didn't gallivant?

    November 12, 2007

  • No! I'm home. I don't think I gallivanted there or back. I mean my arms stayed mostly by my sides and I didn't drink any more than usual.

    November 13, 2007

  • I didn't realize that gallivanting required flapping of arms and heavy imbibing. ;-)

    November 13, 2007

  • You see I always assumed it did. Now I realise I could have been gallivanting all over the place, entirely oblivious.

    November 14, 2007