Word of the Day

Tuesday, December 11, 2001


\GAM-buhl\ , intransitive verb;
To dance and skip about in play; to frolic.
A skipping or leaping about in frolic.
I've been told dolphins like to gambol in the waves in these waters, and that sighting them brings good luck.
-- Barbara Kingsolver, "Where the Map Stopped", New York Times, May 17, 1992
The bad news is that while most of us gambol in the sun, there will be much wringing of hands in environment-hugging circles about global warming and climate change.
-- Derek Brown, "Heatwaves", The Guardian, June 16, 2000
Then they joined hands (it was the stranger who began it by catching Martha and Matilda) and danced the table round, shaking their feet and tossing their arms, the glee ever more uproarious, -- danced until they were breathless, every one of them, save little Sammy, who was not asked to join the gambol, but sat still in his chair, and seemed to expect no invitation.
-- Norman Duncan, "Santa Claus At Lonely Cove", The Atlantic, December 1903
Gambol, earlier gambolde or gambalde, comes from Medieval French gambade, "a leaping or skipping," from Late Latin gamba, "hock (of a horse), leg," from Greek kampe, "a joint or bend."
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