Definition of ceilidh in English:

ceilidh

(Irish ceili)

noun

  • A social event with Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

    • ‘Our own dancing allows children to dance with their parents and grandparents at weddings and ceilidhs.’
    • ‘Yet Highland culture continues to flourish through the Gaelic language, piping, ceilidhs (informal gatherings with traditional music, dancing and poetry) and a full schedule of Highland games.’
    • ‘The other day, the adults were having a ceilidh and he had danced with her.’
    • ‘One of the things that's become traditional on Mull is an informal ceilidh, where the students do party pieces, something they want to play rather than are scheduled to play.’
    • ‘Tickets for the event are £2 with entrance to the ceilidh an extra £6.’
    • ‘We had 70 guests, a rip-roaring ceilidh (dances interspersed with Pink Floyd and Beatles Numbers), and haggis for a starter!’
    • ‘And it was a ceilidh, celebrating the survival of a bad past and the possibility of a better future.’
    • ‘We are having a traditional ceilidh dancefest, complete with twelve-piece band.’
    • ‘He also loved his ceilidhs and his homes hosted many a good knees-up over the years.’
    • ‘I drank with them in the only pub on Iona and danced wild versions of strip the willow with them at ceilidhs (Rab Hay spun me so hard once he sprained my wrist and snapped my watchstrap).’
    • ‘We finally managed to get out of the house yesterday evening, after saying cheerio to Neil and Kate in the afternoon, and ventured up to the community centre, where there was a traditional ceilidh on.’
    • ‘The dances are not energetic in the sense that a barn dance or a ceilidh is.’
    • ‘We spent the entire night dancing at a ceilidh last week.’
    • ‘Comedy, story-telling, poetry, ceilidhs, workshops and Morris-dancing are on the programme, along with T'ai Chi, crafts, kids' events and even a Sunday morning walk.’
    • ‘Other events include a family ceilidh, the annual ski and snowboard race day, culminating in a dinner-dance in October.’
    • ‘The evening will be rounded off by The Little Biggar Band, a three-piece group, joined by a few friends, for a traditional Scottish ceilidh.’
    • ‘One morning I went down to the kitchen early, a bit sleepy after a night at the ceilidh, and started baking bread and scones as usual.’
    • ‘They will be supported by Sarah Northcott and Matt Smith before the evening is rounded of with a traditional Scottish ceilidh led by Edinburgh-based Da Hooley.’
    • ‘Now let's make it bigger still, with organised dances, ceilidhs and parties around different, marked parts of the city for 24 hours - all within walking distance of the centre.’
    • ‘It is the kind of village where they have summer dances in the local hall, a yachting regatta, a seafood festival, Hallowe'en walks in the forest and Hogmanay ceilidhs.’
    social gathering, gathering, social occasion, social event, social function, function, get-together, celebration, reunion, festivity, jamboree, reception, at-home, soirée, social
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: from Scottish Gaelic ceilidh and Irish célidhe (earlier form of céilí), from Old Irish céilide ‘visit, visiting’, from céile ‘companion’.

Pronunciation

ceilidh

/ˈkeɪli/