Goth·​ic | \ ˈgä-thik How to pronounce Gothic (audio) \

Definition of Gothic

 (Entry 1 of 2)
1a : of, relating to, or resembling the Goths, their civilization, or their language
2a : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a style of architecture developed in northern France and spreading through western Europe from the middle of the 12th century to the early 16th century that is characterized by the converging of weights and strains at isolated points upon slender vertical piers and counterbalancing buttresses and by pointed arches and vaulting Gothic cathedrals
b : of or relating to an architectural style reflecting the influence of the medieval Gothic
3 often not capitalized : of or relating to a style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent incidents Gothic novels


Definition of Gothic (Entry 2 of 2)
2 : Gothic art style or decoration specifically : the Gothic architectural style
3 : the East Germanic language of the Goths — see Indo-European Languages Table
4 often not capitalized : a novel, film, or play in the gothic style

Other Words from Gothic


gothically \ ˈgä-​thi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce Gothic (audio) \ adverb
Gothicness \ ˈgä-​thik-​nəs How to pronounce Gothic (audio) \ noun

First Known Use of Gothic


1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for Gothic


see Goth entry 1


see Goth entry 1

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gothic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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English Language Learners Definition of Gothic

: of or relating to a style of writing that describes strange or frightening events that take place in mysterious places
: of or relating to a style of architecture that was popular in Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries and that uses pointed arches, thin and tall walls, and large windows

More from Merriam-Webster on Gothic

Nglish: Translation of Gothic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Gothic for Arabic Speakers

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