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

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The first known use of goombah was in 1954

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Cite this Entry

“Goombah.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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