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goose definition


This page has 12 definitions of goose in English. Goose is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use goose in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Goose



PIE word

From Middle English goos, gos, from Old English gōs, from Proto-West Germanic *gans, from Proto-Germanic *gans, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰh₂éns.

  • The tailor's iron is so called from the likeness of the handle to the neck of a goose.
  • The verb sense of pinching the buttocks is derived from a goose's inclination to bite at a retreating intruder's hindquarters.



Canadian goose

goose (countable and uncountable, plural geese)

  1. Any of various grazing waterfowl of the family Anatidae, which have feathers and webbed feet and are capable of flying, swimming, and walking on land, and which are bigger than ducks.
    There is a flock of geese on the pond.
  2. (strictly) A female goose.
  3. The flesh of the goose used as food.
    • 1843, Charles Dickens, “Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits”, in A Christmas Carol:
      Mrs. Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce; Martha dusted the hot plates; Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, not forgetting themselves, and mounting guard upon their posts, crammed spoons into their mouths, lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped.
  4. (slang, plural geese or gooses) A silly person.
    • 1906, Langdon Mitchell, “The New York Idea”, in John Gassner, editor, Best Plays of the Early American Theatre, 1787-1911[1], published 2000, →ISBN, page 430:
      I'm sorry for you, but you're such a goose.
    • 1994, Barbara Benedict, Love and Honor, New York, N.Y.: Jove Books, →ISBN, page 65:
      Have you stopped to think, you gooses, that Andy might not wish you to give it away?
    • 2014, Julie Berry, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, New York, N.Y.: Roaring Brook Press, Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership, →ISBN:
      You gooses. I didn’t accept his proposal. Mrs Plackett did. She did because she would. Don’t you see?
    • 2019, Julia London, The Princess Plan, HQN Books, →ISBN:
      Surely I needn’t explain to you gooses that none of you, not even you, Caro, have the sort of dowry or connections or the appeal that such a match would require.
  5. (archaic) A tailor's iron, heated in live coals or embers, used to press fabrics.
    Synonym: goose iron
  6. (South Africa, slang, dated) A young woman or girlfriend.
  7. (uncountable, historical) An old English board game in which players moved counters along a board, earning a double move when they reached the picture of a goose.




Derived terms


See also


goose (third-person singular simple present gooses, present participle goosing, simple past and past participle goosed)

  1. (transitive, slang) To sharply poke or pinch the buttocks, or prod between the buttocks, of (a person).
    • 1933, Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts:
      She greeted Miss Lonelyhearts, then took hold of her husband and shook the breath out of him. When he was quiet, she dragged him into their apartment. Miss Lonelyhearts followed and as he passed her in the dark foyer, she goosed him and laughed.
    • 1963, J P Donleavy, A Singular Man, published 1963 (USA), page 36:
      The witness stand. Goldminers giving evidence, sure he's violent didn't I see him with my own peepers chasing those poor kids up on the roof and he goosed my wife last Christmas. Violently. Just a forceful nudge of the knee.
  2. (transitive) To stimulate; to spur.
    • 2021 December 7, Jesse Hassenger, “Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence cope with disaster in the despairing satire Don’t Look Up”, in AV Club[2]:
      Almost everyone in McKay’s impossibly starry cast feels like they’re jumping into the SNL host role, game for some light comedic lifting while waiting for the pros to show up and goose the laughs.
    • 2023 July 10, James Poniewozik, “The Twitter Watch Party Is Over”, in The New York Times[3]:
      The ensuing snarknado also seemed to goose the TV ratings. Hundreds of thousands of viewers switched on the movie after it began, suggesting that they’d gotten wind through Twitter of the bananas spectacle that was unfolding.
  3. (transitive, slang) To gently accelerate (an automobile or machine), or give repeated small taps on the accelerator.
  4. (slang, UK) Of private-hire taxi drivers, to pick up a passenger who has not booked a cab, in violation of UK licensing conditions.
  5. (transitive, slang) To hiss (a performer) off the stage.