Definition of Gallic in English:



  • 1Of or characteristic of France or the French.

    ‘a Gallic shrug’
    • ‘All those French intellectuals have their Gallic noses stuck in a book.’
    • ‘Initially, the teenagers zipping along the tree-lined streets on mopeds put me in mind of small-town France, but the Gallic atmosphere evaporated when I realised that everyone was drinking tea.’
    • ‘He gave a Gallic shrug when it was suggested that playing for Bolton reserves at Wakefield on a Wednesday night was not quite the same as the Roman amphitheatre he has been used to.’
    • ‘Put it like this: if there really were such a thing as French cricket, our Gallic neighbours would not allow themselves to be so easily subjugated.’
    • ‘It's always difficult to distinguish between these Frenchmen with their Gallic shrugs, garlic breath and white-tipped Gauloises.’
    • ‘The burial habits are mirrored by Gallic tribes of the Seine valley in France, from which they may have descended.’
    • ‘He brought to the Boston Symphony the best Gallic qualities: characterful woodwind sounds, like the slightly nasal oboe tone, allied to a general transparency in the texture.’
    • ‘The top restaurant in the world was judged to be one serving Gallic food not in France, but among vineyards in Napa Valley, California.’
    • ‘However, the French legal system and Gallic ways of doing things are still quite alien to the Scots legal framework or culture.’
    • ‘To this one meets the familiar Gallic shrug we've seen most years since the fall of Paris.’
    • ‘The French make do with a Gallic shrug, the Italians employ animated arm-waving.’
    • ‘It was a difficult group, but nothing the world champions could not have taken in their stride had their Gallic shrug not been so evident.’
    • ‘But as Reuters reports, he is shrugging off the boycott, presumably with that Gallic shrug which Americans in particular seem to find so irritating.’
    • ‘It is both familiar, in that we are all reluctant to connect with strangers, and alien in that Reza's view is very Gallic, very philosophically French.’
    • ‘The majority of French voters are greeting the election of their new president with an underwhelmed Gallic shrug.’
    • ‘It's a title that loses a lot in the translation and gains only a characteristically Gallic whiff of pretentiousness.’
    • ‘The leader - a French trumpeter full of Gallic charm, trousers falling down over hips that sway to the music - encourages the impromptu audience to part with their money.’
    • ‘Were he human, each victory would be accompanied by a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a disdainful pout of the lips.’
    • ‘Its full frontal nudity is unlikely to cause the blink of a Gallic eyelid when the French see it this Christmas.’
    • ‘Travellers to France will discover that the French are no less Gallic for the abolition of the franc.’
  • 2Relating to the Gauls.

    ‘the Gallic retreat from Delphi’
    • ‘As a reward Caesar's men each received one Gallic slave in addition to monetary spoils of war.’
    • ‘Bibracte was a Gallic citadel on Mount Beuvray, in the heart of the Morvan region, about a half-hour from Autun.’
    • ‘In Gaul, there was considerable continuity between pre-Roman and post-Roman populations, yet French contains only about 120 words with Gallic origins.’
    • ‘Once grown to adulthood, he uses the advice of a mysterious Druid elder named Guttuart and his own determination to begin uniting the various Gallic tribes.’
    • ‘His idea was to force Caesar to come to him… and while the Romans were facing his troops on the hilltop, they would be encircled and attacked from the rear by other Gallic tribes.’
    • ‘The Gallic confederacy formed under Vercingetorix; Gaul breaks into open rebellion.’
    • ‘After the defeat of Vercingetorix, Gallic resistance would never again rise in great force.’
    • ‘The ‘hearts’ will point to a marvellous recovery; that the Greens left with honour, as their Gallic conquerors would say.’
    • ‘The so reduced remains of the Gallic empire were inherited by the unlikely figure of Marius.’
    • ‘It is said that the official emperor even challenged the Gallic emperor to a single combat, but Postumus refused this armed conflict too.’
    • ‘Indeed, he may well have gleaned news of the fact that Vercingetorix, ruler of the Arverni, a tribe of the French Massif Central, might become the supreme Gallic war-leader, and thus pose a very dangerous threat to Roman success.’
    • ‘Until recently Anglo-Saxon and Gallic societies also saw women as chattels and held that adultery was a crime against property and against honour.’


Late 17th century: from Latin Gallicus, from Gallus a Gaul.