\ ˈgün How to pronounce goon (audio) \

Definition of goon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stupid person
2a : a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents

go on

went on; gone on; going on; goes on

Definition of go on (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to continue on or as if on a journey life goes on went on to greater things
b : to keep on : continue went on smoking
c : proceed went on to win the election
2 : to take place : happen what's going on
3 : to talk especially in an effusive manner the way people go on about their ancestors— Hamilton Basso

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for goon

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of goon in a Sentence

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The film begins with Kelly, Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) and other SEALs preparing for a mission at the behest of CIA goon Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell). Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 28 Apr. 2021 At the top of the hour, a False Face Society goon ambushed Jacob in his car and injected him with Snakebite, an incredibly addictive drug that allows the user to relive regretful memories and change the outcome. Chancellor Agard,, 12 Apr. 2021 This film was in the can before the death of George Floyd and there are a few sour notes, as when a goon is excessively tasered until his skin burns while Emily asks a bystander not to film it on his phone. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021 Weingarten, a lawyer by education and a union goon by profession, is, to say the least, not very well prepared to critically review the CDC’s public-health findings. The Editors, National Review, 30 Mar. 2021 Josto’s a comic relief goon with only bad one-liners, delivered by Schwartzman with anachronistic snark. Darren Franich,, 14 Sep. 2020 But still, Batgirl was able to hold one goon and set him up for Robin’s final devastating and thrilling flying kick. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2020 No mention was made about Wenig’s presiding over a company where a criminal gang of top officers felt empowered to act like a goon squad in a grade D horror movie. Steven Levy, Wired, 19 June 2020 Attending museum galas, dating supermodels, chasing packs of goons around the docks and then strapping them up from their ankles outside of police headquarters. Kate Sidley, The New Yorker, 22 May 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of goon


1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for goon


probably short for English dialect gooney simpleton

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About goon

Time Traveler for goon

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near goon





go on

go on at


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for goon

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Goon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for goon



English Language Learners Definition of goon

chiefly US : a person who is hired to threaten, beat up, or kill someone
chiefly British : a stupid person

More from Merriam-Webster on goon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goon

Nglish: Translation of goon for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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