Definition of galliard in English:



  • A lively dance in triple time for two people, including complicated turns and steps.

    • ‘In other words, where a five step galliard generally consists of four steps, followed by a cadenza, an eleven step generally consists of ten steps, followed by a cadenza.’
    • ‘I wish I was as disciplined as she was - this is a woman who got up and did 100 galliards a day until the day she died, and they are hard dance steps!’
    • ‘The term ballo occurs in this context mainly in the 16th century, when it denoted a collection of dances of the period, such as branles, pavans and galliards, and saltarellos.’
    • ‘This exotic combination is followed by a complete contrast of sound in the succeeding galliard, or Gailliarde as it is spelt in the score.’
    • ‘Other dances, such as the various types of branles, were a direct transference of folk sources, whilst others, again, compromised between populist zest and courtly fastidiousness, as did the pavanes and galliards.’


Late Middle English (as an adjective meaning ‘valiant, sturdy’ and ‘lively, brisk’): from Old French gaillard ‘valiant’, of Celtic origin. The current sense dates from the mid 16th century.