1 of 2


: a stupid person
: a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents

go on

2 of 2


went on; gone on; going on; goes on

intransitive verb

: to continue on or as if on a journey
life goes on
went on to greater things
: to keep on : continue
went on smoking
: proceed
went on to win the election
: to take place : happen
what's going on
: to talk especially in an effusive manner
the way people go on about their ancestors Hamilton Basso

Keep scrolling for more

Example Sentences

Noun He was beat up by a couple of goons. an unfortunate tendency to call those who disagree with him “brainless goons Verb what in the world is going on in there? my, but Aunt Betty does go on about all of her aches and pains
Recent Examples on the Web
Djimon Hounsou speaks with a sluggish timbre as the oversized goon of a feline sent to put Hank’s tail between his legs. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 The property was originally a web novel written by Chugong in 2016, before it was developed as a web series written by h-goon with art by Dubu, CEO of Redice Studio, and D&C Webtoon, and released by Kakao Page in 2018. Patrick Frater, Variety, 4 July 2022 That wish is soon granted when BioSys goon Rainn Delacourt (Scott Haze) kidnaps her and Beta, shipping them off to a black market in Malta. Peter Debruge, Variety, 8 June 2022 Forgo the fitness-goon look and slip on these stylish, high-performing shades ($130), with impact-resistant synthetic frames and shatterproof lenses good enough for the brightest days. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, 14 May 2015 Chicago finds himself in the middle of a gang war involving a briefcase, a goon with a gunshot wound and a mysterious network of underworld bigwigs. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 5 Jan. 2022 There went the grouper, the goon of the reef, who keeps the population under control. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 The new clip focuses solely on Susie, as her goon BFFs show her around her new office. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, 2 Dec. 2021 Jackie allows Monica to call her mom, who has been paging, but tasks a goon with hovering his finger over the switch hook. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 12 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Keep scrolling for more

Word History



probably short for English dialect gooney simpleton

First Known Use


1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of goon was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near goon

Cite this Entry

“Goon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on goon

Last Updated: 17 Jul 2022

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.