Definition of gala in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡɑːlə//ˈɡeɪlə/


  • 1A social occasion with special entertainments or performances.

    as modifier ‘a gala performance by the Royal Ballet’
    • ‘A young virtuoso pianist from Sligo was the star of a gala concert performance held in Dublin on December 11.’
    • ‘The exhibit's grand finale was a gala auction of the winning doghouses that raised money for the SPCA and the museum.’
    • ‘Spirits, wide awake and alert, were quite certain it was a gala occasion.’
    • ‘Pupils staged a gala performance of dance, poems, songs and gymnastics in her honour.’
    • ‘She once famously shook hands with Dracula when she attended a gala performance by the company at Leeds Grand Theatre.’
    • ‘The pressure was on a year in advance to come up with stellar costuming worthy of the star-studded gala performance at Wortham Theater Center.’
    • ‘So anyway, we had been planning to bring out this troupe of long-legged dancers from Vegas for the entertainment at the gala anniversary party.’
    • ‘The height of the festival was the gala performance, which kept the audience's attention for the full four and one-half hours.’
    • ‘The highlight will be the presidential address this Tuesday evening while the social highlight will be the gala dinner which is also planned for this Tuesday night.’
    • ‘In return patrons receive two complimentary tickets for the gala performance on February 4 and are invited to the pre-gala reception.’
    • ‘Each teacher choreographed a short work for the gala performance.’
    • ‘The ceremony began with the award gala dinner and was a huge international occasion.’
    • ‘This will follow a gala performance in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in May.’
    • ‘The students have previously performed in regional concerts in their own provinces and were then chosen by RIAM senior examiners to perform at the special gala.’
    • ‘The two stars, who will be special guests at the gala, will perform individually and in tandem.’
    • ‘Over €16m was raised from the charity auction at the gala dinner, which was attended by over 1,200 people.’
    • ‘She was presented with her award at a gala dinner and gathering in the Burlington Hotel last week.’
    • ‘This price includes a buffet breakfast, the use the hotel's conference facilities, lunch, a gala dinner and a floor show.’
    • ‘The Great Northern Brass Arts Festival, which is in its fifth year, began with a five-hour concert, followed by an evening gala performance in front of a capacity audience.’
    • ‘He'll also join other centenary celebrations including a gala dinner on November 23.’
    fete, gala day, fair, feast, festival, carnival, pageant, jubilee, jamboree, party, garden party, celebration
    festive, celebratory, merry, joyous, joyful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A special sports meeting, especially a swimming competition.
      ‘we met at a swimming gala’
      • ‘The games continue this week with the disability swimming gala, along with basketball and angling qualifiers.’
      • ‘About six awards are expected to be dished out to deserving swimmers during the ceremony, to be preceded with the first league gala at the Olympic Swimming Pool.’
      • ‘The family were walking home after a swimming gala in Canterbury when a car passed them on the lane and stopped ahead.’
      • ‘She will then attend further training sessions and also to take part in swimming galas.’
      • ‘The 27-year-old, who is in training for next summer's Olympic Games, began his swimming career at the Longsight baths by competing in galas there as a schoolboy.’
      • ‘Ballina Dolphins swimmers participated in the recent gala at Claremorris swimming pool and were successful in the following events.’
      • ‘My wife tells me that she won a swimming gala at the baths.’
      • ‘Acceptance of this offer by Schoeman would mean the swimmer cannot compete for South Africa for a full year before he will be eligible to represent Qatar in future swimming galas.’
      • ‘About 500 swimmers from all over South Africa have gathered for one of the biggest galas on the swimming calendar, the Telkom National Aquatic Championships.’
      • ‘Rain forced a championship swimming gala to be abandoned.’
      • ‘Twenty of the pupils will compete in the swimming gala in Portarlington on Wednesday, June 14.’
      • ‘LCM spent about $30,000 on refurbishing of the pool which has a long and rich history of hosting international galas.’
      • ‘Some voluntary groups have lost thousands of pounds because of the cancellation of their main fund-raising events of the year, like village shows, galas and sports meetings.’
      • ‘Austin went on to say that his father was always there for his family, whether it was a school play, a football match or a swimming gala.’
      • ‘Over the last 98 years Victoria Baths has played host to swimming galas, dance nights and television cameras - but now the famous old building has been transformed into a work of art.’
      • ‘Apparently, ever since a female umpire disqualified him from the individual medley at a swimming gala he'd found it difficult to deal with older women.’
      • ‘Apart from the international competitions, six league galas had also been lined up for the 2004/2005 season.’
      • ‘It was a somewhat nostalgic day for the Dolphin Swimming Club when the held their gala in the Portlaoise Swimming Pool last week.’
      • ‘Mrs Lindridge and other members of the club said if the pool did not open dozens of schoolchildren would miss out on important exercise and fun, as well as the annual swimming gala.’
      • ‘He was meant to take them to a swimming gala in Darlington but instead held them in his flat for three days.’


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘showy dress’): via Italian and Spanish from Old French gale ‘rejoicing’.