Definition of Gallic in English:



  • 1Of or characteristic of France or the French.

    ‘a Gallic shrug’
    • ‘Well, Bubba, it might have something to do with Parisians perfecting Gallic cool while we were busy slaughtering buffalo and burning witches at the stake.’
    • ‘At 26, he looks like a lycée student who has lingered a bit too long at school, but the San Francisco Ballet's latest Gallic import moves like a dark angel - fast, fearless, and without mercy.’
    • ‘Foucault exaggerates for rhetorical effect, in typical Gallic fashion, but nonetheless expresses an important underlying cultural truth.’
    • ‘To this one meets the familiar Gallic shrug we've seen most years since the fall of Paris.’
    • ‘They're spending millions to create consistent brands recognized around the world, while Gallic winegrowers are turning out too much low-quality table wine with mystifying labels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite making some of the most robust and radiant disco-house of the last decade - Gallic or otherwise - he's never seemed to be one for fanfare.’
    • ‘Madeleine Redman described him, with Gallic extravagance, as a mixture of John Knox and Lord Byron - a too-extreme polarity, but one saw what she meant.’
    • ‘I've long said that the recent attacks against innocent Jewish people in France were carried out by Islamic immigrants that have arrived looking to sign up for some famous Gallic social programs.’
    • ‘Sighing, she hefted the drinks tray and threaded her way to the table, wondering as she arrived why everyone seemed to have caught a sudden bout of Gallic verve.’
    • ‘A stirring procession led by the string section that sounds almost Gallic, and that it maybe should be scoring a 19th century high society gathering.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its full frontal nudity is unlikely to cause the blink of a Gallic eyelid when the French see it this Christmas.’
    • ‘The burial habits are mirrored by Gallic tribes of the Seine valley in France, from which they may have descended.’
    • ‘Three songs by Henri Duparc were sweetly Gallic romantic ruminations.’
    • ‘However, the French legal system and Gallic ways of doing things are still quite alien to the Scots legal framework or culture.’
    • ‘It's a title that loses a lot in the translation and gains only a characteristically Gallic whiff of pretentiousness.’
    • ‘Unfaithful is acquitted and free to go, but is sternly cautioned by the Judge to avoid the lofts of unkempt Gallic playboys or he won't be as lenient the next time.’
    • ‘These practices are consistent with the strict Gallic assimilationist model that bars religion from the public sphere (hence the headscarf dispute).’
    • ‘The French make do with a Gallic shrug, the Italians employ animated arm-waving.’
    • ‘Call it Gallic pride, or just another example of how things in France are always done just a little differently, but I enjoyed reading an interesting piece on French outsourcing in the India Times.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The majority of French voters are greeting the election of their new president with an underwhelmed Gallic shrug.’
    • ‘All those French intellectuals have their Gallic noses stuck in a book.’
    • ‘The top restaurant in the world was judged to be one serving Gallic food not in France, but among vineyards in Napa Valley, California.’
    • ‘It's always difficult to distinguish between these Frenchmen with their Gallic shrugs, garlic breath and white-tipped Gauloises.’
    • ‘It's time we faced reality regarding our Gallic cousins.’
    • ‘This strong Gallic sense of class was impressed once more on me when our team first arrived in Paris in 1988 to conduct the Nature tests.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Were he human, each victory would be accompanied by a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a disdainful pout of the lips.’
    • ‘Every day e-mails containing press releases full of Gallic flair and drama would land in the in-boxes of anyone deemed worthy of receiving them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In a sense, the Gallic embrace of blogging is no surprise.’
    • ‘Speaking in in the ornate deputies' chambers at the mairie (city hall), Bloche, 43, is all soft-spoken confidence and Gallic good looks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Travellers to France will discover that the French are no less Gallic for the abolition of the franc.’
    • ‘But as Reuters reports, he is shrugging off the boycott, presumably with that Gallic shrug which Americans in particular seem to find so irritating.’
    • ‘The educated elite of the Francophone Third World man permanent outposts of Paris, with the Gallic adroitness of reducing reality to thought, and thought to language.’
    • ‘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 collection brings together French underground pop/psych music that was ascendent as the Gallic sun was setting on the more brassy go-go sounds of the mid-60s.’
  • 2Relating to the Gauls.

    ‘the Gallic retreat from Delphi’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After the defeat of Vercingetorix, Gallic resistance would never again rise in great force.’
    • ‘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 ‘hearts’ will point to a marvellous recovery; that the Greens left with honour, as their Gallic conquerors would say.’
    • ‘The Gallic confederacy formed under Vercingetorix; Gaul breaks into open rebellion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The so reduced remains of the Gallic empire were inherited by the unlikely figure of Marius.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is said that the official emperor even challenged the Gallic emperor to a single combat, but Postumus refused this armed conflict too.’
    • ‘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’.