"entertain (someone) splendidly," 1650s, from French régaler "to entertain or feast," from Old French regale, rigale, from gale "merriment," from galer "make merry" (see gallant (adj.)). Influenced in Old French by se rigoler "amuse oneself, rejoice," a word of unknown origin. Italian regalo is from French. Originally of food and drink; by 1670s in reference to what pleases or delights the mind. Related: Regaled; regaling.