\ˈgün \

Definition of goon 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stupid person

2a : a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents

b : enforcer sense 2b

go 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for goon

Synonyms: Noun

airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, bubblehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, clodpoll (or clodpole), clot [British], cluck, clunk, cretin, cuddy (or cuddie) [British dialect], deadhead, dim bulb [slang], dimwit, dip, dodo, dolt, donkey, doofus [slang], dope, dork [slang], dullard, dum-dum, dumbbell, dumbhead, dummkopf, dummy, dunce, dunderhead, fathead, gander, golem, goof, half-wit, hammerhead, hardhead, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, lamebrain, loggerhead [chiefly dialect], loon, lump, lunkhead, meathead, mome [archaic], moron, mug [chiefly British], mutt, natural, nimrod [slang], nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, noddy, noodle, numskull (or numbskull), oaf, pinhead, prat [British], ratbag [chiefly Australian], saphead, schlub (also shlub) [slang], schnook [slang], simpleton, stock, stupe, stupid, thickhead, turkey, woodenhead, yahoo, yo-yo

Synonyms: Verb

be, befall, betide, chance, come, come about, come down, come off, cook, do, go down [slang], hap, happen, occur, pass, transpire

Antonyms: Noun

brain, genius

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Examples of goon in a Sentence


He was beat up by a couple of goons. an unfortunate tendency to call those who disagree with him “brainless goons


what in the world is going on in there? my, but Aunt Betty does go on about all of her aches and pains
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From Dreamer: Hypothetically, who would be the goon on the Reds? John Fay,, "Reds Xtra: The mailbag is overflowing with queries about Bailey, Harvey, Lorenzen," 30 June 2018 Players can pull off moves like launching an enemy into the air, juggling them for a few punches, then grabbing them with a web and flinging them at the next foe, all before zipping across the room to strike a third goon. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The first hour of Spider-Man on the PS4 strains against the limits of open-world storytelling," 2 Aug. 2018 Belgium knows how to assert itself; Russia is rugged by necessity against more talented opponents; and Croatia’s silkily skilled midfield is backed up by defenders unafraid to channel their inner goon on occasion. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "The World Cup is getting seriously dirty now," 4 July 2018 Daniels has also reported being approached and threatened by a strange man — not Cohen, but quite possibly sent by Cohen, who styles himself as quite the goon. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Michael Cohen Apparently Flipping Is Extremely Bad News for Trump," 2 July 2018 An opening sequence sets the film's terror-thriller tone by sending witless corporate goons to retrieve a fossil. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom review: This nonsense has gone full Sharknado," 22 June 2018 Since then, the Man in Black has teamed up with Lawrence, met the new El Lazo, liberated Las Mudas from Major Craddock and his goons, and took a few bullets from Maeve and Lawrence—including one that hit him squarely in the goddamn chest. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Westworld Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: Here Comes the Man in Black," 18 June 2018 Spencer arrives on campuses, insults black students, and brings along violent goons. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Why let the Klan march at a private historically black college? ‘This is not a First Amendment thing, man.’," 31 May 2018 Then the government’s own goon squads, to Dr. Updale’s alarm, enter the fray. Michael Phillips, The Seattle Times, "‘The First Purge’: Violent, erratic prequel shows how it all began," 3 July 2018

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.

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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

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Learn More about goon

Dictionary Entries near goon





go on

go on at


Statistics for goon

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for goon

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

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More Definitions for goon



English Language Learners Definition of goon

: a person who is hired to threaten, beat up, or kill someone

: a stupid person

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More from Merriam-Webster on goon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goon

Nglish: Translation of goon for Spanish Speakers

Comments on goon

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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