goombah

noun
goom·​bah | \ ˈgüm-ˌbä How to pronounce goombah (audio) \

Definition of goombah

1 informal : a close friend or associate used especially among Italian-American men
2 informal : a member of a secret chiefly Italian-American crime organization : mafioso broadly : gangster
3 informal : a macho Italian-American man

First Known Use of goombah

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for goombah

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about goombah

Time Traveler for goombah

Time Traveler

The first known use of goombah was in 1954

See more words from the same year

Statistics for goombah

Cite this Entry

“Goombah.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goombah. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on goombah

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goombah

Comments on goombah

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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