\ ˈgün How to pronounce goon (audio) \

Definition of goon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stupid person
2a : a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents

go on

went on; gone on; going on; goes on

Definition of go on (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to continue on or as if on a journey life goes on went on to greater things
b : to keep on : continue went on smoking
c : proceed went on to win the election
2 : to take place : happen what's going on
3 : to talk especially in an effusive manner the way people go on about their ancestors— Hamilton Basso

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Synonyms & Antonyms for goon

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of goon in a Sentence

Noun He was beat up by a couple of goons. an unfortunate tendency to call those who disagree with him “brainless goons Verb what in the world is going on in there? my, but Aunt Betty does go on about all of her aches and pains
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Josto’s a comic relief goon with only bad one-liners, delivered by Schwartzman with anachronistic snark. Darren Franich,, "Fargo season 4 has a lot of nothing to say about America: Review," 14 Sep. 2020 But still, Batgirl was able to hold one goon and set him up for Robin’s final devastating and thrilling flying kick. Washington Post, "The exciting and worrying news of ‘Gotham Knights’ and ‘Suicide Squad’," 24 Aug. 2020 No mention was made about Wenig’s presiding over a company where a criminal gang of top officers felt empowered to act like a goon squad in a grade D horror movie. Steven Levy, Wired, "eBay’s Harassment Campaign Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum," 19 June 2020 Attending museum galas, dating supermodels, chasing packs of goons around the docks and then strapping them up from their ankles outside of police headquarters. Kate Sidley, The New Yorker, "Batman Works from Home," 22 May 2020 The naïve teenagers are as persuasively drawn as the professional goons stalking them, and the language presents an amusing exercise in the fine art of dialogue. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "The Scenes of the Crimes: Landfalls, Stadiums and Creepy Blogs," 17 Apr. 2020 When a bad situation takes a turn for the worse, Clover finds herself on the run with two well-meaning goons: the bickering brothers Jackie and Mickey, played by Mark Webber and Jon Abrahams. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Derivative, sure, but ‘Clover’ makes its Martin Scorsese/Quentin Tarantino moves work," 2 Apr. 2020 In a sense, Kadyrov and his goons have won, driving the human-rights defenders out of Chechnya. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The Example Of Oyub Titeiv," 5 Mar. 2020 After misadventures, soul searching and a few big numbers, adult Simba (Brandon A. McCall) returns to challenge Scar and his hyena goons for leadership of the Pride Lands. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The Lion King' brings pride, spectacle and strong characters to Marcus Center," 7 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of goon


1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for goon


probably short for English dialect gooney simpleton

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Time Traveler for goon

Time Traveler

The first known use of goon was in the 15th century

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Statistics for goon

Last Updated

26 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Goon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for goon


How to pronounce go on (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of goon

chiefly US : a person who is hired to threaten, beat up, or kill someone
chiefly British : a stupid person

More from Merriam-Webster on goon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goon

Nglish: Translation of goon for Spanish Speakers

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