goom·​bah ˈgüm-ˌbä How to pronounce goombah (audio)
plural goombahs
informal : a close friend or associate
used especially among Italian-American men
informal + disparaging : a member of a secret chiefly Italian-American crime organization : mafioso
broadly : gangster
informal, often disparaging + offensive : an Italian American

Examples of goombah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her goombah was Rocky Graziano, who was a major middleweight champion. Josef Adalian, Vulture, 8 Dec. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'goombah.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian dialect (Campania) cumbà, vocative form of cumbare respected older man, literally, godfather, from Medieval Latin compater — more at compeer

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of goombah was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near goombah

Cite this Entry

“Goombah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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