Definition of gallop in US English:



  • 1The fastest pace of a horse or other quadruped, with all the feet off the ground together in each stride.

    ‘the horse broke into a furious gallop’
    ‘riding at full gallop’
    • ‘The instant the reins were passed, the horse bolted to a full gallop flying down the dirt road.’
    • ‘With new resolve, Katherine started the horse to the right, and was about to urge it into a full gallop when something caught her eye.’
    • ‘Alexander wondered how it was even possible to strike a target from the back of a horse at full gallop while wielding the crossbow with one hand.’
    • ‘She kicked her horse into a full gallop and broke away from them, who, after only a moment's hesitation, turned and fled in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘She urged the horse into a full gallop, wanting to get there as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘He booted Sal in the ribs and the horse leaped into a full gallop.’
    • ‘His gun bellowed in his hand and the horses jumped to a gallop.’
    • ‘He kept making him go faster until we were at a full gallop.’
    • ‘The mare at once sprang into the devouring gallop of a horse giving it her all.’
    • ‘His approach was as a cavalry charge - from walk to canter to full gallop, yelling out arrest commands in English.’
    • ‘Some of the men broke ranks in a furious gallop to the river where they gulped water in joyous abandon.’
    • ‘One need only watch a rodeo or horse race to see how quickly a horse can go from standing still to a full gallop.’
    • ‘He rode his horse at a full gallop across the countryside, taking in the fresh, cold air.’
    • ‘Looking over my shoulder I could see him coming at a full gallop.’
    • ‘The large horse was full of energy as he charged down the dirt road at a full gallop.’
    • ‘At the foot of a slope our horses were urged into a full gallop, jumping over rocks until we got to the cattle.’
    • ‘Knights ride their horses at full gallop and are almost all successful at driving a spear through a 3-inch ring.’
    • ‘Regular practice makes them so skilful that they can control their horses at a full gallop, even on a steep slope.’
    • ‘He will, however, appreciate tomorrow's return to a distance just short of eight furlongs and will surely get a furious gallop, which seems to suit him.’
    • ‘She manages to turn the horse in the direction of the house, then spurs it into a full gallop.’
    1. 1.1 A ride on a horse at a gallop.
      ‘Will went for a gallop on the beach’
      • ‘The third afternoon, when he had watched for her in a fury of disappointment, he ordered his horse and went for a gallop down the sunken road to the mill.’
      • ‘But when I was invited to go for a gallop in the forest my nerves gave out again.’
    2. 1.2 A very fast pace of running or moving.
      • ‘His run turned into a frenzied gallop, his face thrust out to the fans.’
      • ‘He stood the pace better and eight minutes after the break Will snapped up a loose ball and outpaced the defence with a length of the field gallop.’
      • ‘He took victory in the Chesterfield Spire Midsummer Road Race from an eight-man gallop on the hilly Baslow course in the Peak District.’
      • ‘Some of the men broke ranks in a furious gallop to the river where they gulped water in joyous abandon.’
      • ‘The men now began a hurried gallop down the streets, on the way to the judicial building.’
      • ‘They frustrated the home support with incisive counter-attacking football, allowing a new on-loan recruit a couple of gallops at central defensive pairing Mark and Stephen.’


  • 1(of a horse) go at the pace of a gallop.

    • ‘The horse gallops at a consistent pace and John increases the speed as he sees Isabelle hovering by the stable door.’
    • ‘The horse gallops along, seemingly oblivious to its slipping rider.’
    • ‘He had a great liking for horses and he could often be observed on a summer's evening, watching his beautiful mares and foals gallop along the Banks.’
    • ‘Then, with a shake of the reins, the horse galloped ahead and disappeared into the mist.’
    • ‘He could hear the horse galloping off before even the bang of the door slam faded out.’
    • ‘Suddenly a brown haired stallion came galloping out of the brush.’
    • ‘Her horse galloped up to the shore of the pool and along the grove of trees.’
    • ‘A herd of wild horses galloped across the pampas, tossing their heads in a display of wild exuberance, against a backdrop of snow covered mountains.’
    • ‘A horse swiftly galloped past the small slim girl gathering fruits along the path.’
    • ‘The train was moving relatively slowly, and the horses were soon galloping on our side.’
    • ‘He saw a great expanse of lush green meadow, where wild ponies galloped free and careless in its serenity.’
    • ‘The best adrenaline rush I've ever had was when I went on a two-day trek through Belize in Central America and my horse went galloping out of control in the jungle.’
    • ‘I did have a great experience earlier on the Isle of Skye, stopped to feed a horse on the way back to where I was staying and ended up running up and down the road with the horse galloping alongside me, keeping pace.’
    • ‘From the valley comes a drumbeat of hooves as a tall horse gallops through the dusk shadows, bare but for a slim, young boy.’
    • ‘If a horse is galloping at speed, totally out of control and not responding to the rider's commands, the situation can be life threatening.’
    • ‘With 35 horses galloping in a straight line over nine furlongs this famous cavalry charge is a thrilling race, made even more exciting by the hope of backing the winner.’
    • ‘The clopping of hooves could be heard faintly over the wind as a band of riders on black stallions came galloping along side of us.’
    • ‘Cole looks at her as his horse gallops past, but does not stop.’
    • ‘Before I knew it, my horse was galloping in the sand.’
    • ‘The horses galloped at an astonishing pace, racing for the edge of the forest, through the Hollow Mists of Leba, desperate to escape.’
    race, canter, run, rush, dash, tear, sprint, bolt, fly, shoot, dart, hurry, hasten, speed, streak, hurtle, career, hare, scamper, scurry, scud, go like lighting, go like the wind
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Make (a horse) gallop.
      ‘Fred galloped the horse off to the start’
      • ‘To gallop the horse now would be stupid because they were both cold and tired and stiff from their injuries.’
      • ‘The win was the first of the year for the trainer, who owns and trains the three horses in his stable and, at 71, also gallops them.’
      • ‘The girl - who didn't wear a pair of shoes until she was eight - would rise at dawn and gallop her horse over the misty hills at the very start of the day.’
      • ‘He also spent five years galloping horses for Racing Hall of Fame trainers.’
      • ‘He walks and feeds him, and even gallops him.’
      • ‘A minute later, two braves rode off, galloping their horses to the west.’
      • ‘He galloped horses Tuesday at Calder Race Course and on Wednesday was at Belmont Park to breeze horses for trainers.’
      • ‘O'Brien was galloping his horses up a really steep hill at his brother's farm when the master trainers in England had theirs out for a stroll.’
      • ‘He has been a trainer for 53 years and occasionally still gallops the horses in his care.’
      • ‘He galloped his horse to the north, followed by his henchmen and Wong's group.’
      • ‘I had to gallop a white Spanish horse across the battlefield toward New Zealand's white snow-capped mountains.’
      • ‘‘Then don't misuse it,’ she said, and turned and galloped the horse back towards the army.’
      • ‘One of my friends, Henry, who gallops horses at Laurel took me to the backside.’
      • ‘The game continued at an enthusiastic pace with the men throwing themselves wholeheartedly into competition with as much spirit as they showed for galloping their horses.’
      • ‘Alas, the wish list also contains somewhat less thrilling aspirations such as - I kid you not - riding a roller-coaster, galloping a horse across a beach and wondering at a waterfall.’
      • ‘I do a lot of jogging with him for three or four days after he breezes and then start galloping him because he does work so fast.’
      • ‘Saumell, who is in his 70s, rode his last winner in 1978 and still galloped horses until three years ago.’
      • ‘It caught on fire and we galloped our horses to the woods, and then heard a huge explosion, followed by the sight of orange flames.’
      • ‘During Cowboy Mounted Shooting, cowboys and cowgirls galloping horses shoot balloons with blanks.’
      • ‘He'd never known him to gallop his horse, then leave it standing without cooling him down gently first.’
    2. 1.2 (of a person) run fast and rather boisterously.
      • ‘He galloped towards the goal, shook off the challenge of John and shot high and right past him.’
      • ‘Soon thereafter a man gallops wildly into the station.’
      • ‘In short order another 30-yard drive, this time by Fitzgerald, was not too far away, and the game was very much alive as Murphy galloped through only to shoot wide.’
      • ‘He came galloping down the hill right away, and the three of them had their first practice right there in the woodland glen, and I was lucky enough to be the first mortal man to witness their music.’
      • ‘At lunch and tea we took over the outfield, using the long-empty lemonade bottle as our bat, piled carrier bags as the stumps and chased the rubber ball over the turf on which our heroes had galloped.’
      • ‘They then created day light when he appeared on the wing to gallop 30 yards to the corner.’
      • ‘Then a dangerous passing movement was stopped by a smart interception by Storey, who galloped in under the posts.’
      • ‘He was breathing heavily from galloping at a rapid speed.’
      • ‘Fearing he had lost too much time, the lad galloped as fast as he could to the palace.’
      • ‘The officer went galloping out of the room, and immediately returned with a Bible and put it on my lap with great respect.’
      • ‘Ten minutes later he came galloping down the stairs to the foyer where they were already waiting.’
      • ‘Instantly the four girls galloped to the broken fence.’
      • ‘As the Westmeath forward forced his way through for a last goal chance, he galloped up to his shoulder.’
      • ‘She frowned and squinted when she spied a figure galloping across the lush, green hills.’
      • ‘As soon as I undid the latch, he was galloping past me.’
      • ‘Hawkins, gaining in confidence as the game progressed, galloped down the left and looped in a pinpoint cross for him to attack from point blank range.’
      • ‘No sooner had we pulled up outside a low wall and started walking a dirt road to the gate than Ben literally galloped out of the house and threw his arms around Papa.’
      • ‘He was patiently waiting for her at the top of the hill, so she quickly galloped up the slope to catch up with him.’
      • ‘The advice conjures up all sorts of funny images of welly-clad officials galloping away from stick-wielding farmers at marts around the country.’
      • ‘Almost a quarter-of-an-hour in, and it was his cross which he headed just wide, the Liverpool man galloping in from his berth of the left of midfield to meet the ball.’
      race, canter, run, rush, dash, tear, sprint, bolt, fly, shoot, dart, hurry, hasten, speed, streak, hurtle, career, hare, scamper, scurry, scud, go like lighting, go like the wind
      View synonyms
  • 2(of a process or time) progress rapidly in a seemingly uncontrollable manner.

    ‘galloping inflation’
    ‘panic about the deadline galloping toward them’
    • ‘The other is a modern magus, galloping towards his fiftieth birthday with a lifetime of grand work behind him, and so much more still to do.’
    • ‘In the later scenes, it grows more formulaic, galloping towards a happy ending with unseemly haste, burdening the actors with unconvincing old age make-up and testing the audience with corny platitudes.’
    • ‘The mint escaped the beds and started galloping toward the house, with the snow in summer in hot pursuit.’
    • ‘Perhaps inevitably, the sheer quantity of material leaves one gasping for breath at times - he gallops from one work to the next, allowing each only the briefest of examination.’
    • ‘A sudden collapse of the pound could lead to equal and opposite problems, such as galloping inflation.’
    • ‘The honeymoon has truly ended, and the relationship galloping towards divorce.’
    • ‘To the fate felt in the blood and acknowledged by the intelligence is added concern for his partner as the disease gallops towards consummation.’
    • ‘His performance is superb and the change in his face as he gallops towards psychological collapse is remarkable to watch.’
    • ‘The pace gallops along, the plot is difficult to predict, if not well nigh impossible, and the narrative draws you inside the covers so that every intrusion which makes you put the book down is resented.’
    • ‘For a society that still relies very clearly on the privatised, domestic role played by the family, the extent to which women's relative equality to men has galloped ahead raises some wider questions.’
    • ‘They also created a ‘revolving door’ syndrome in the sector, with sought-after staff galloping from one company to the next, on the scent of yet another lucrative pay rise.’
    • ‘The rate of inflation in Bangladesh has galloped forward from under 2 in 2001 to above 6 in the recent year.’
    • ‘It has not exactly galloped, raced, or even trotted through the House, having had its first reading in June 2001-nearly 2 years ago.’
    • ‘He was one of the few economists willing to predict early in 2000 that the Irish inflation rate was threatening to gallop toward 6 per cent or higher.’


Early 16th century: from Old French galop (noun), galoper, variants of Old Northern French walop, waloper (see wallop).