Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To leap about playfully; frolic.
  • noun A playful skipping or frolicking about.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A skipping, leaping, or frisking about; a spring, leap, skip, or jump, as in frolic or sport.
  • To skip about in sport; caper in frolic, like children or lambs; frisk carelessly or heedlessly.
  • Synonyms To frolic, romp, caper.

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

  • intransitive verb To dance and skip about in sport; to frisk; to skip; to play in frolic, like boys or lambs.
  • noun A skipping or leaping about in frolic; a hop; a sportive prank.

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

  • verb intransitive To move about playfully; to frolic.
  • verb UK, regional to do a forward roll
  • noun An instance of running or skipping about playfully.
  • noun An instance of more general frisking or frolicking.

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

  • noun gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
  • verb play boisterously

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of French gambade, horse's jump, from Old French, perhaps from Old Italian gambata, from gamba, leg, from Late Latin, hoof, from Greek kampē, bend (as in a limb).]

Examples

  • His inexhaustible gift of lightning repartee I saw illustrated on another occasion, when he presided at the midnight "gambol" of a Bohemian club, at which it needed the utmost tact and presence of mind to "ride the whirlwind and direct the storm."

    America To-day, Observations and Reflections

  • It's supposedly, theoretically, marvelous to gambol about in a "something-for-everyone" culture where all tastes are catered to by one medium or many.

    In the 500-channel universe, we're definitely lost in space

  • ­Elsewhere there is pealing for peeling ; bite for bight ; straights for straits ; gamble for gambol ; canon for cannon .

    Coastal Disturbances

  • An outraged parent must have complained about our gambol through Times Square, because the next year we were bused to the Upper West Side of Manhattan and taken to the Museum of Natural History.

    First Love & Other Obsessions

  • The final day was a 20-mile gambol through a southern spur of the Brooks Range, the Blue Cloud Mountains.

    Richard Bangs: So, You Think That's Cold?

  • May you frolic and cavort and gambol and caper in a madcap series of wacky zany antics that are fondly remembered always.

    Will Durst: Summer: Day One

  • May you frolic and cavort and gambol and caper in a madcap series of wacky zany antics that are fondly remembered always.

    Will Durst: Summer: Day One

  • Rows of brick garden apartments all backed onto a massive common garden: a shared backyard for children to play, dogs to gambol, and families to eat picnics together.

    Day of Honey

  • May you frolic and cavort and gambol and caper in a madcap series of wacky zany antics that are fondly remembered always.

    Will Durst: Summer: Day One

  • The final day was a 20-mile gambol through a southern spur of the Brooks Range, the Blue Cloud Mountains.

    Richard Bangs: So, You Think That's Cold?

Comments

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  • "And Gerty, wrapt in thought, scarce saw or heard her companions or the twins at their boyish gambols ..."

    Joyce, Ulysses, 13

    January 14, 2007

  • A word fraught with potentially hilarious misunderstandings. ;-)

    February 20, 2007

  • indeed

    July 7, 2008

  • Ha!

    July 17, 2008