gallivant 1809, probably a playful elaboration of GALLANT (Cf. gallant) in an obsolete verbal sense of "play the gallant, flirt, gad about." Related: Gallivanted; gallivanting.
Young Lobski said to his ugly wife,
"I'm off till to-morrow to fish, my life;"
Says Mrs. Lobski, "I'm sure you a'nt",
But you brute you are going to gallivant."
What Mrs. Lobski said was right,
Gay Mr. Lobski was out all night.
He ne'er went to fish, 'tis known very well
But where he went I shall not tell.
["Songs from the Exile," in "Literary Panorama," London, 1809]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Gallivant — Gal li*vant, v. i. [From {Gallant}.] To play the beau; to wait upon the ladies; also, to roam about for pleasure without any definite plan. [Slang] Dickens. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gallivant — *wander, stray, roam, ramble, rove, range, prowl, gad, traipse, meander …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • gallivant — [v] run around, gad about cruise, jaunt, meander, mooch, ramble, range, roam, rove, stray, traipse, wander; concepts 149,224 Ant. behave …   New thesaurus

  • gallivant — ► VERB informal ▪ go from place to place seeking pleasure and entertainment. ORIGIN perhaps from GALLANT(Cf. ↑gallantly) …   English terms dictionary

  • gallivant — [gal′ə vant΄] vi. [arbitrary elaboration of GALLANT] 1. Archaic to gad about with members of the opposite sex 2. to go about in search of amusement or excitement gallivanter n …   English World dictionary

  • gallivant — verb /ˈɡæl.ɪ.vænt,ˈɡæl.ɪ.vænt,ˌɡæl.əˈvænt/ To roam about for pleasure without any definite plan. 1914 Bertram, it is true, when he heard of the plan, rebelled, and asserted that what Billy needed was a rest, an entire rest from care and labor. In …   Wiktionary

  • gallivant — UK [ˈɡælɪˌvænt] / US verb [intransitive] Word forms gallivant : present tense I/you/we/they gallivant he/she/it gallivants present participle gallivanting past tense gallivanted past participle gallivanted informal old fashioned to go from place… …   English dictionary

  • gallivant — gal|li|vant [ˈgælıvænt] v [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Perhaps from gallant] [i]informal to spend time enjoying yourself and going from place to place for pleasure used humorously in order to show disapproval gallivant about/around ▪ She should be… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gallivant — verb (I) informal or humorous to spend time enjoying yourself and going from place to place for pleasure: gallivant about/around: She spent six months gallivanting around Europe …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • gallivant — also galavant intransitive verb Etymology: perhaps alteration of 3gallant Date: 1823 1. to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex 2. to travel, roam, or move about for pleasure …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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