Definition of gait in US English:



  • 1A person's manner of walking.

    ‘the easy gait of an athlete’
    • ‘They may walk with an unsteady gait with feet far apart, and they have difficulty with motions that require precise coordination, such as writing.’
    • ‘He dressed smartly and tended to walk with an odd gait.’
    • ‘Only last week a young man was sentenced to a year in jail for being part of a 30-strong gang that humiliated and assaulted a man with Parkinson's disease whose only provocation to them had been to walk with a strange gait.’
    • ‘He crouched as he walked, and his gait was slow and measured.’
    • ‘When the explosions intrude upon him and force him to stop, he walks away with an easy gait, and takes the time to make the acquaintance of a woman who catches his eye before heading home to his worried family.’
    • ‘To get a toehold on the Laetoli problem, the researchers first compared the gaits of modern humans walking on sand with two sets of the fossil tracks.’
    • ‘As I paid out I watched him come in, walking with the rolling gait of a sailor on a pitching deck.’
    • ‘I slowed my gait to a walk, and then held still to listen.’
    • ‘He studied the gait of those who walk barefoot over long distances on uneven surfaces - like the Masai people of East Africa - and found they rarely suffered from back or joint problems.’
    • ‘He walks with the rolling gait of a sailor, feeling the floor for a moment with each foot before setting it down.’
    • ‘With a cautious gait, they slowly walked as one to the lift.’
    • ‘One afternoon I was sorting out the petty cash when I heard the unmistakeable sound of her intimidating gait as she walked menacingly towards my desk.’
    • ‘He walks with an awkward gait, his right leg turned out from birth, and he is sharp and selfish and snorts; a bachelor alumni of the finishing school for quiet men.’
    • ‘This distinguishes walking from faster gaits in which ground contact is absent for brief periods.’
    • ‘It is never quiet, and cool guys and gals walk with an energetic gait while window-shopping, relaxed in casual dress, some of them even walking barefoot.’
    • ‘He walks with a shuffling gait, almost as if he is refusing to lift his feet and take real steps for fear that the ground will disappear once he lifts his feet from it.’
    • ‘They remembered his gait, his manner of speaking and what he was wearing.’
    • ‘This condition causes the child to walk with a toe-in gait.’
    • ‘An axle attaches the front of the frame to the foundation, and the resulting pivot allows you to lift your heel and walk with the shuffling gait of a backcountry skier.’
    • ‘I got up in no hurry, brushed my teeth without haste, took the routine morning exercise lentissimo and walked at a leisurely gait.’
    walk, step, stride, pace, tread, manner of walking, way of walking
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The paces of an animal, especially a horse or dog.
      • ‘It will be slower when the horse's gaits are extended, faster when they are collected.’
      • ‘What you want is to feel relaxed all the time but in the beginning you are only going to experience it on some horses at some gaits.’
      • ‘These horses and the therapists who work alongside them are providing a type of medical treatment known as hippotherapy, in which the horse's natural gaits elicit a response in the rider's body.’
      • ‘Mary is in the ring with Bianca, an exotic brunette, riding Pinto, her Quarter Horse with nice gaits and who is unflappable in nearly all situations.’
      • ‘Symptoms in horses include an unsteady gait while people develop flu-like symptoms.’
      • ‘Tempo is the measure of the time between the beats, while a stride is the distance covered by all four feet within a given gait before the pattern of footfalls repeats.’
      • ‘He cantered on, moving with his horses' rocking gait as the sun descended below the horizon.’
      • ‘Before you and your horse can play at the upper levels of whatever game you have chosen, being able to stay relaxed, to stay balanced over the horse's center of gravity, and to follow the horse's motion at all gaits is essential.’
      • ‘The horse's gait changed to a gallop, and the muffled rhythm of the hoof beats crescendoed until they were uncannily loud and hollow.’
      • ‘We may be able to get transitions up and down fairly well, halt to walk, walk to trot etc, but what happens when we ask it to miss a gait, say halt to trot or walk to canter.’
      • ‘He wasn't galloping yet, he was pacing, the gait in between a canter and a gallop, though not many horses can.’
      • ‘Pat talked his way through riding Magic at three speeds in each gait.’
      • ‘Or is the point that Jake, as befits his personality, had a horse with a fancy-looking gait that's not very practical?’
      • ‘You don't need access to a fancy schooling course to practice riding cross-country, trail riding at all three gaits, over natural terrain and obstacles, can work just as well.’
      • ‘She appreciated the soft gait of the horse he rode, an almost rolling pace.’
      • ‘They moved off again at a canter, a mild gait compared to the previous mad gallop.’
      • ‘Many times, conformation dictates how the horse moves; his choppy gaits are comfortable for him, if not for you.’
      • ‘Self-carriage, cadence, rhythm, and hock engagement at all three gaits with the same speed and frame were the standards on which to judge.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that of all the gaits, the one the race horse knows the least about is the walk.’
      • ‘Working, medium, and extended gaits were interspersed with collection to keep the horses thinking forward.’


Late Middle English (originally Scots): variant of gate.