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April 12, 2021

Word of the Day: Gallant

2 CQ

Word of the Day : April 12, 2021

gallant \GAL-unt\ adjective


1 : showy in dress or bearing : smart

2 a : splendid, stately

b : spirited, brave

c : nobly chivalrous and often self-sacrificing

3 : courteously and elaborately attentive

Did You Know?

Gallant exists in modern English primarily as an adjective, but it entered the language first as a noun. In the 14th century, when tales of Camelot populated the mythology of English speakers, a gallant was a young man of fashion—imagine perhaps a young and smartly dressed Arthur or Lancelot. The word had been borrowed in the forms galaunt and gallaunt from Middle French, the ultimate source being Middle French galer, a verb meaning "to squander in pleasures, have a good time, enjoy oneself." Galer also bestowed upon English the adjective gallant, which joined the language in the 15th century. A verb gallant meaning "to pay court to a lady" entered the language in the late 17th century as a derivative of the English adjective, but it is rarely encountered today.

Aired April 12, 2021

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