Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. At full gallop; at top speed.
  • n. A hunting cry.
  • n. A fast, furious gallop; top speed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. At full tilt
  • n. A rapid gallop
  • n. The sound of a hunting horn in imitation of a galloping horse

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Swiftly; speedily; rapidly; -- a fox-hunting term.
  • n. A rapid, violent gallop; an impetuous rush.
  • intransitive v. To go away in haste.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Swiftly; rapidly; at full speed.
  • Swift; rapid; hasty; on the rush.
  • n. A hunting cry, inciting to speed or denoting full chase.
  • n. A rapid, violent movement; a gallop; a rush; a torrent.
  • n. A High-church Tory of about the time of James II.
  • To hurry off.

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • These martial strains seemed as far away as Palestine, and reminded me of a march of crusaders in the horizon, with a slight tantivy and tremulous motion of the elm tree tops which overhang the village.

    Walden

  • He says that an ambitious tantivy, [2] missing of his towering hopes of preferment in

    The Journal to Stella

  • He was of a nature to ride tantivy into anything that promised excitement or adventure.

    Australia Felix

  • Rather than face death and the death-fear, in an attempt to flee the unfleeable he had thrown every other consideration to the winds, and ridden tantivy into the unknown.

    Ultima Thule

  • Ten minutes later, everyone was back in their seats and Tom, who had purloined the horn from the long basket attached to the side of the guard's seat, blew a tantivy into the night and Duncan, muffled from neck to heels in the big coat, set the horses in motion.

    The Last Gamble

  • Is it strange that I became known as the wildest tantivy boy that rode with the King?

    The Tavern Knight

  • In the common-room one day sat as merry a company of carousers as ever gladdened the soul of an old tantivy boy.

    The Tavern Knight

  • The wild tantivy boy had vanished, and the sobriquet of "Tavern Knight" was fast becoming

    The Tavern Knight

  • He says that an ambitious tantivy, [2] missing of his towering hopes of preferment in Ireland, is come over to vent his spleen on the late Ministry, etc.

    The Journal to Stella

  • How does it come that a few short hours later we find him galloping tantivy over the dusty hills, no less than two hundred miles, as the birds fly, from the counter railing of welcomings?

    Empire Builders

Comments

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  • I did too, trivet. The things you learn here....

    November 22, 2007

  • Also a character in "Gravity's Rainbow".

    November 22, 2007

  • I always thought it was the sound a hunting horn makes.

    November 22, 2007

  • "Tantivy, tantivy, tantivy, a-hunting we will go."

    November 22, 2007

  • At a full gallop; top speed. Given as a crossword puzzle clue for apace.

    November 22, 2007