\ ˈgüf How to pronounce goof (audio) \

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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Examples of goof in a Sentence

Noun Don't be such a goof. I'll admit it's my goof. I made a major goof. Verb It was clear that someone had goofed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is clearly Toole’s goof on staid literary convention, but his constant need to nudge even prosaic moments toward tonal anarchy suggests a desperation to entertain at any cost. Tom Bissell, The New Yorker, "The Uneasy Afterlife of “A Confederacy of Dunces”," 5 Jan. 2021 The Chargers seem to have a bottomless supply of ways to goof in clutch moments. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Is Justin Herbert on verge of saving Anthony Lynn’s job with Chargers?," 17 Dec. 2020 The comedy writer Keaton Patti made my favorite Twitter joke of the year—a gloriously gross goof on this terrible moment. Ian Crouch, The New Yorker, "The Best Jokes of 2020," 7 Dec. 2020 Another notable element in the episode was a rare goof – an apparent crew member spotted during one shot that has some making comparisons to the infamous Game of Thrones coffee cup mistake. James Hibberd,, "The Mandalorian: Those dark stormtroopers and mysterious green tanks, explained," 20 Nov. 2020 The goof was first spotted by the Guido Fawkes blog in Britain. Washington Post, "Boris Johnson’s Brexit has a Joe Biden problem," 12 Nov. 2020 Filmed, narrated and written mostly by Wilson, a lifelong New Yorker, the show might best be described as a darkly funny goof on the explainer videos that have saturated YouTube. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, New York Times, "John Wilson Reveals the Absurd Poetry of New York," 23 Oct. 2020 There were unexpected grace notes for Kate Nash’s British goof and Chris Lowell's closeted gadfly, and lots of wonderful attention given to Cherry’s relationship with her genial hubby, Keith (Bashir Salahuddin). Darren Franich,, "Farewell to GLOW, a great show that deserved one final round," 6 Oct. 2020 Andy Samberg plays Nyles, a goof of a fellow tagging along with his younger girlfriend Misty (Meredith Hagner) for a November wedding in the city of the title. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, "‘Palm Springs’ is perfect for pandemic viewing," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This isn’t a group of government employees goofing off on the job, struggling against the stupidity of both the state and the public while trying to handle piddly local-government tasks, and indulging their hilarious personal foibles. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Sorry, Superfans: Parks and Rec’s Socially Distanced Reunion Didn’t Work," 2 May 2020 First, of course, is how much of it was shot at Johnson Space Center (which was the Manned Spacecraft Center until 1973, although the filmmakers may have goofed and shown the big JSC sign that's off NASA Road One). Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Operation Avalanche, the only good conspiracy—fake the Moon landing, get promoted," 20 July 2019 Then Apatow cuts to the end result of being really good at goofing around: a SoCal palace that would have awed the Sun King. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Judd Apatow’s Comedy Masterpiece," 1 May 2020 As the bat munches in the evening light, a night-vision camera hidden near a watering hole in Tembe Elephant Park captures the 3 a.m. buzz of insects, as well as the sight of two glossy young lions goofing around. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 21 Apr. 2020 The pictures mainly show the two stars, Winter and Keanu Reeves, goofing around behind the scenes of the 1989 cult classic, although one heartwarming shot features the late George Carlin, who played supreme being Rufus. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Alex Winter Shares Discovered Photos From Original 'Bill & Ted' Production," 19 Feb. 2020 On this day, not a soul was in the office at one point, and parking was easy to find in a lot so notoriously small that those familiar with it say someone goofed when designing it. Sig Christenson,, "At base gates in San Antonio, coronavirus fears keep Security Forces at a distance," 23 Mar. 2020 The #FliptheSwitchChallenge has been around at least since November 2019, but Elizabeth Warren and Kate McKinnon breathed new life into it over the weekend while goofing around on the set of Saturday Night Live. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "The Best #FlipTheSwitch TikToks & How To Join The Trend," 9 Mar. 2020 Come to find out, the Mattel employees used to goof around. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Hot Wheels Camaro Found That's Worth a Lot More Than an Actual Camaro," 7 Feb. 2020

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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Learn More about goof

Statistics for goof

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Goof.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for goof



English Language Learners Definition of goof

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US, informal
: a silly or stupid person
: a careless or stupid mistake



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

chiefly US, informal : to make a careless or stupid mistake : to make a goof


\ ˈgüf How to pronounce goof (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on goof

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goof

Nglish: Translation of goof for Spanish Speakers

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