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

  • adverb At full gallop; at top speed.
  • noun A hunting cry.
  • noun A fast, furious gallop; top speed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Swiftly; rapidly; at full speed.
  • Swift; rapid; hasty; on the rush.
  • To hurry off.
  • noun A hunting cry, inciting to speed or denoting full chase.
  • noun A rapid, violent movement; a gallop; a rush; a torrent.
  • noun A High-church Tory of about the time of James II.

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

  • adverb Swiftly; speedily; rapidly; -- a fox-hunting term.
  • noun A rapid, violent gallop; an impetuous rush.
  • intransitive verb colloq. To go away in haste.

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

  • adverb obsolete At full tilt
  • noun obsolete A rapid gallop
  • noun informal The sound of a hunting horn in imitation of a galloping horse


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

[Origin unknown.]


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  • These martial strains seemed as far away as Palestine, and reminded me of a march of crusaders in the horizon, with a slight tantivy and tremulous motion of the elm tree tops which overhang the village.

    Walden 2004

  • He says that an ambitious tantivy, [2] missing of his towering hopes of preferment in

    The Journal to Stella 2003

  • Rather than face death and the death-fear, in an attempt to flee the unfleeable he had thrown every other consideration to the winds, and ridden tantivy into the unknown.

    Ultima Thule 2003

  • He was of a nature to ride tantivy into anything that promised excitement or adventure.

    Australia Felix 2003

  • Ten minutes later, everyone was back in their seats and Tom, who had purloined the horn from the long basket attached to the side of the guard's seat, blew a tantivy into the night and Duncan, muffled from neck to heels in the big coat, set the horses in motion.

    The Last Gamble Nichols, Mary 1996

  • The wild tantivy boy had vanished, and the sobriquet of "Tavern Knight" was fast becoming

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini 1912

  • Is it strange that I became known as the wildest tantivy boy that rode with the King?

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini 1912

  • In the common-room one day sat as merry a company of carousers as ever gladdened the soul of an old tantivy boy.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini 1912

  • He says that an ambitious tantivy, [2] missing of his towering hopes of preferment in Ireland, is come over to vent his spleen on the late Ministry, etc.

    The Journal to Stella Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745 1901

  • How does it come that a few short hours later we find him galloping tantivy over the dusty hills, no less than two hundred miles, as the birds fly, from the counter railing of welcomings?

    Empire Builders Francis Lynde 1893


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  • At a full gallop; top speed. Given as a crossword puzzle clue for apace.

    November 22, 2007

  • "Tantivy, tantivy, tantivy, a-hunting we will go."

    November 22, 2007

  • I always thought it was the sound a hunting horn makes.

    November 22, 2007

  • Also a character in "Gravity's Rainbow".

    November 22, 2007

  • I did too, trivet. The things you learn here....

    November 22, 2007

  • "As soon as he caught Bud's eye, he kicked it up another gear, to a tantivy."

    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, p 31 of the Spectra trade paperback

    May 17, 2016

  • before he cold reply a cry like a huntsman's tantivy from the top end of the garden announced the arrival of Quintus Rain.
    Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2004), p. 281.

    May 30, 2016

  • Fox hunters preparing to go

    Hear brazen horns wavering blow,

    But first a tantivy

    En masse to the privy

    Then mount with a brave tallyho!

    October 6, 2017