gon·​zo | \ ˈgän-(ˌ)zō How to pronounce gonzo (audio) \

Definition of gonzo

1 : of, relating to, or being a style of journalism marked by a lack of objectivity due to the writer's immersion in the subject and often participation in the activity being documented gonzo journalism a gonzo journalist

2 informal

a : outlandishly unconventional, outrageous, or extreme a gonzo comedian
b : very strange or unusual : bizarre gonzo notions

Examples of gonzo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Or perhaps the legacy of early African-American filmmakers like Oscar Micheaux, whose gonzo style of independent filmmaking favored filling every frame with as much entertainment as the story could bear? Veronica Chambers, Marie Claire, "My favorite Black rom-coms are a reminder that falling in love isn’t a solitary affair.," 13 Feb. 2019 The mythology really took over as the series went along, and the third film’s exploration of the story’s universe, while turning back the clock a little bit, gives it a fresh feeling and a gloriously gonzo finale. Dylan Scott, Vox, "13 found-footage horror movies actually worth watching this Halloween," 19 Oct. 2018 But what’s most unexpectedly gratifying is how much energy veteran standup director Jeff Tomsic and his splashy cast pour into ensuring that this is legit entertainment, packed with gonzo wit and even some sentiment. Tom Russo, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for just the right touch in ‘Tag’," 13 June 2018 Outsider art turned pop, the hits were the kind of gonzo genius more respectable musicians wouldn’t dream of -- nor the band’s many imitators. Richard S. He, Billboard, "August 18, 1998: Korn, Kid Rock, Orgy & The Biggest Day in Nu-Metal History," 30 May 2018 Thankfully, such gonzo proposals never came to fruition. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Volcanoes are awe-inspiring. Here are 7 things to know about them.," 11 May 2018 Consider Warren Craghead, the TrumpTrump author, who draws in a style that’s vaguely reminiscent of the gonzo mode of Ralph Steadman (best known for his work with the journalist Hunter S. Thompson). Sarah Boxer, The Atlantic, "Why Is Donald Trump So Hard to Caricature?," 10 Mar. 2018 May responds to Tague's increasingly gonzo antics as though his life really depended on it. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "'Misery' at Great Lakes Theater: Despite top-notch cast and a spooky set, it's under rather than over-the-top (review)," 22 Feb. 2018 Tom Petty tribute act Petty Theft (Feb. 3) and gonzo guitar mauling Scott Pemberton Band (Feb. 10) round out the remaining shows. Aaron Davis, sacbee, "Three to see this weekend: Torch Club music benefit, Auburn jamfest, banjo duo," 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gonzo.' 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 gonzo

1971, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gonzo

origin unknown

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gonzo journalism



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Last Updated

21 Feb 2019

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The first known use of gonzo was in 1971

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English Language Learners Definition of gonzo

chiefly US, informal : having a very strange or unusual quality

Comments on gonzo

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


to boil down or concentrate

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