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Word of the Day for Friday, 18 January 2019




1. a person who moves about restlessly or aimlessly, especially from one social activity to another.

2. a person who travels often or to many different places, especially for pleasure.


My mother-in-law calls me ... a gadabout? accuses me of going to unheard-of places, and thinks it ought to be joy enough for me to sit at home and count over my ancestors on my fingers.

-- Henry James, The American, 1877


Gadabout is a noun use of the verb phrase (to) gad about “to move restlessly or aimlessly from place to place.” The Middle English verb gad, gadden is likely a back formation from the Old English noun gædeling “companion in arms, kinsman, fellow” and in the 16th century, “vagabond, wanderer”). Gadabout entered English in the 18th century.

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Last updated: 18/1/2019

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