\ˈgüf \

Definition of goof 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a silly or stupid person

2 : blunder


goofed; goofing; goofs

Definition of goof (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to spend time idly or foolishly usually used with off goofing off instead of working

b : to engage in playful activity usually used with around goofing around after school

2 : to make a usually foolish or careless mistake : blunder often used with up

transitive verb

: to make a mess of : bungle usually used with up goofed up the assignment

goof on

: to make fun of : kid, put on you're goofing on me, right?

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Synonyms & Antonyms for goof

Synonyms: Noun

airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, bubblehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, clodpoll (or clodpole), clot [British], cluck, clunk, cretin, cuddy (or cuddie) [British dialect], deadhead, dim bulb [slang], dimwit, dip, dodo, dolt, donkey, doofus [slang], dope, dork [slang], dullard, dum-dum, dumbbell, dumbhead, dummkopf, dummy, dunce, dunderhead, fathead, gander, golem, goon, half-wit, hammerhead, hardhead, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, lamebrain, loggerhead [chiefly dialect], loon, lump, lunkhead, meathead, mome [archaic], moron, mug [chiefly British], mutt, natural, nimrod [slang], nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, noddy, noodle, numskull (or numbskull), oaf, pinhead, prat [British], ratbag [chiefly Australian], saphead, schlub (also shlub) [slang], schnook [slang], simpleton, stock, stupe, stupid, thickhead, turkey, woodenhead, yahoo, yo-yo

Antonyms: Noun

brain, genius

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Examples of goof in a Sentence


Don't be such a goof. I'll admit it's my goof. I made a major goof.


It was clear that someone had goofed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In an apparent goof, someone ran the new MacBook Air on Geekbench 4.3 and then submitted the results to Geekbench’s official browser database. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Here's how much slower (and faster?) Apple's new MacBook Air is than Dell's XPS 13," 2 Nov. 2018 In other words, there’s plenty to reinforce Sandler’s reputation as a relatively lowbrow goof. Karen Han, Vox, "Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh is a surprising, refreshingly earnest standup special," 28 Oct. 2018 New grads often turn to social media to mock their alma maters’ graduation goofs. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Nice Degree, but Your Diploma Gets an ‘F’ for Spelling," 19 Aug. 2018 But a tax-law goof put White Castle in a pickle, and the company is postponing some of those projects as the retail, restaurant and commercial-real-estate industries push Congress to correct an inadvertent omission. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Four Words Missing in the New Tax Law Give Restaurants Heartburn," 10 July 2018 Why wasn’t that snippy Mi Kyong being asked to stay after all her goof-ups? Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 If Fultz ultimately represents Colangelo’s biggest basketball goof here – surpassing the preposterous contract awarded Robert Covington – then those left behind can rectify it without suffering the blowback themselves. Bob Ford,, "Do the Sixers need to draft a replacement for Markelle Fultz? | Bob Ford," 20 June 2018 Getty Images Still, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did goof off a bit at their wedding too. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "See Harry and Meghan's Official Royal Wedding Portrait," 21 May 2018 Did the Kansas Attorney General's Office goof up by naming a nonexistent defendant? Steve Vockrodt, kansascity, "Judge dismisses one Schlitterbahn criminal charge after mistake by prosecution," 26 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Want to goof off instead of following the campaign? Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spider-Man PS4 review: Does whatever a spider can—and then some," 4 Sep. 2018 The pair were often filmed working on construction sites together and goofing around. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Reveals What Shorty Is Doing Now That 'Fixer Upper' Is Over," 21 Aug. 2018 On July 2, Jessica posted a Day 1 production photo to her Instagram, showing the core cast of actors goofing around during a table read. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, ""It: Chapter 2" Adds New Cast Member Taylor Frey as Gay Character Don Hagerty," 11 July 2018 In an interview during Winter Music Conference in Miami with Professional Rockstars and Ministry of Sound TV, Axwell, Ingrosso, Angello and Laidback are shown goofing around, talking about electro house and their upcoming collaboration. David Rishty, Billboard, "The History of Swedish House Mafia: A Timeline," 30 Mar. 2018 The responsible-looking page boy (who tried to keep a straight face as Tom Pettifer goofed around) is the son of Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, former private secretary to William and Prince George’s godfather. Erin Hill,, "Remember the Flower Girl Who Stole Will and Kate's Wedding? Find Out Where She Is Now!," 8 May 2018 Before, during, and after the games the idea is to keep things loose, so guys are always goofing around, making up games, filling time. Peter King,, "Why One Home Run That Barry Zito Gave Up in College Now Stands Above the Rest," 13 Feb. 2018 Patti Smith, Dickerson's first inspiration, let Smoke open for her in Atlanta, which provides the film with a satisfying climax, yet the talking/singing/playing/goofing-off heads that precede this apotheosis are just as watchable (and listenable). Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Chicagoans / Comedy / Film / LGBTQ+ / Music / On Video Chicago Underground Film Festival at 25: A look back," 4 June 2018 Another off-season perk: the town‘s slate of talented chefs have the time to goof around with summer ingredients. Alison Humes, WSJ, "Summer Getaways That You Don’t Need To Sweat Over," 28 June 2018

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


1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1932, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for goof


probably alteration of English dialect goff simpleton

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Statistics for goof

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for goof

The first known use of goof was in 1915

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More Definitions for goof



English Language Learners Definition of goof

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a silly or stupid person

: a careless or stupid mistake



English Language Learners Definition of goof (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a careless or stupid mistake : to make a goof


\ˈgüf \

Kids Definition of goof

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stupid or silly person


goofed; goofing

Kids Definition of goof (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to spend time foolishly He goofed off instead of studying.

2 : to spend time doing silly or playful things They spend the weekend goofing around.

3 : to make a blunder

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More from Merriam-Webster on goof

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goof

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goof

Spanish Central: Translation of goof

Nglish: Translation of goof for Spanish Speakers

Comments on goof

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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