go·​by | \ ˈgō-bē How to pronounce goby (audio) \
plural gobies also goby

Definition of goby

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of numerous spiny-finned fishes (family Gobiidae) that usually have the pelvic fins united to form a ventral sucking disk

go by

went by; gone by; going by; goes by

Definition of go by (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: pass sense 3b as time goes by

Illustration of goby

Illustration of goby


In the meaning defined above

Examples of goby in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At Pelican Island, find more than 140 species of birds (including the refuge’s namesake) as well as over 200 species of fish — including smalltooth sawfish sturgeon, pipefish, goby, tarpon, flounder, ladyfish, mackerel, bluefish, American eel. Kathleen Christiansen, orlandosentinel.com, "National Wildlife Day: 7 places to appreciate animals in Florida," 4 Sep. 2020 The work reopened 10 miles of the upper watershed to salmon and steelhead and restored marsh habitat for the San Francisco garter snake, California red-legged frog and tidewater goby. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Restoring a San Mateo County creek to keep new generations of fish thriving," 5 Nov. 2019 Numerous exotic fish, introduced by humans over the past century, compete for limited food and habitat with Puerto Rican species like the waterfall-climbing sirajo goby, the streamlined mountain mullet and the bigmouth sleeper, a top river predator. Alonso Ramirez, The Conversation, "Caribbean fish love catastrophic hurricanes," 17 Sep. 2019 Biologists are anxious to hear reports of the gobies any further upriver. oregonlive.com, "Monroe: In search of hungry trout in Oregon’s summer haven," 2 Aug. 2019 In the sample size of 74 fish representing 11 species, the invasive round goby had the highest concentrations, possibly from eating filter-feeding quagga mussels, which scientists suspect may be accumulating microplastics. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes each year. Most of the pollution pours into Lake Michigan.," 4 Sep. 2019 Little is known about the consequences, although the gobies feed on algae and small insects, which may put them into competition with wild salmon and steelhead juveniles. oregonlive.com, "Monroe: In search of hungry trout in Oregon’s summer haven," 2 Aug. 2019 Another goby spends longer as a larval stage than as an adult. Jennifer Hayes, National Geographic, "Coral reefs depend on lots of fish the size of jellybeans," 23 May 2019 Set up the rig so the bait or lure is a foot, or two, off the bottom and out of the range of bait-stealing round gobies. D'arcy Eagan, cleveland.com, "Lake Erie smallmouth bass biting around — where else? — the Bass Islands: Fishing Report for Sept. 13," 13 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of goby


1769, in the meaning defined above


1508, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for goby


Latin gobius gudgeon, from Greek kōbios

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about goby

Statistics for goby

Cite this Entry

“Goby.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goby. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on goby

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about goby

Comments on goby

What made you want to look up goby? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!