\ ˈgüs How to pronounce goose (audio) \
plural geese\ ˈgēs How to pronounce geese (audio) \

Definition of goose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : any of numerous large waterfowl (family Anatidae) that are intermediate between the swans and ducks and have long necks, feathered lores, and reticulate tarsi
b : a female goose as distinguished from a gander
3 plural gooses : a tailor's smoothing iron with a gooseneck handle
4 plural gooses : a poke between the buttocks


goosed; goosing

Definition of goose (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to poke between the buttocks with an upward thrust
2 : to increase the activity, speed, power, intensity, or amount of : spur an effort to goose newsstand sales

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Synonyms for goose

Synonyms: Noun

berk [British], booby, charlie (also charley) [British], cuckoo, ding-a-ling, ding-dong, dingbat, dipstick, doofus [slang], featherhead, fool, git [British], half-wit, jackass, lunatic, mooncalf, nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, nut, nutcase, simp, simpleton, turkey, yo-yo

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Examples of goose in a Sentence


don't be such a silly goose—you're dressed just fine for the party

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the geese, considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians, have worn out their welcome, at least as far as city officials are concerned. Susannah Bryan,, "City wants geese gone for simple crime: Pooping in the park," 5 June 2019 The neighbor admitted to shooting the geese, and police contacted Ohio Department of Natural Resources officers. Brian Lisik,, "Resident calls police on neighbor for shooting geese: Hinckley Township Police Blotter," 3 June 2019 The jolt when the plane collided with a flock of geese and the engines stopped moments after takeoff from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport. Deepti Hajela, The Seattle Times, "‘Miracle’ flight survivors mark decade of thankfulness," 15 Jan. 2019 Conard worries about killing, through redistribution and taxation, the golden goose that has raised billions out of poverty. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Is the wealth gap really all that bad?," 27 May 2018 There are huddles of the Spanish delicacy percebes (goose barnacles); clusters of indigo mussels clinging to black metamorphic nobs. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Seaweed the Perfect Food?," 15 Feb. 2019 The bowties are made from pheasant, guinea, rooster, goose and other fowl feathers. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "From bow ties to blow outs, it's time to begin sprucing up for the Kentucky Derby 2018," 13 Apr. 2018 Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Ann Dowd, Glamour, "Actress Ann Dowd on What It's Like Not Finding Success Until Her 50s," 11 Nov. 2018 With 21 actors, a baby, a bunny, and a goose, The Ferryman sports the kind of ensemble typically reserved for musicals. Aja Romano, Vox, "The Olivier-winning play from Jez Butterworth juggles 21 actors, a baby, and a goose — with a dark strain of Irish nationalism.," 3 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The number of stock-keeping units over that time increased by 20%, and the number of flavors grew from 11 to 18, as the company tried to goose sales by tapping into new tastes. Paul Page, WSJ, "Absolut Mixes Machine Learning Into Its Spirits Supply Chain," 9 May 2019 To solve the problem, Beijing gave banks the green-light to ramp up mortgage lending—helping property developers run down inventory and goosing construction, in turn pushing SOE steel and cement margins back higher. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Why Old-School Chinese Stimulus Won’t Help," 21 Jan. 2019 Then there is the property market, traditionally China’s favorite avenue for goosing growth. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Don’t Count on the China Put," 17 Dec. 2018 While some changes in recent years, such as bigger screens with the iPhone 6, goosed iPhone sales, consumers in developed markets these days aren’t jumping to new models as quickly as before. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Apple’s Troubles Extend Beyond China," 3 Jan. 2019 Rather than reduce costs or idle unproductive plants, GM offered bigger discounts to goose sales. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s GM Collision," 27 Nov. 2018 With its 10nm CPUs long overdue, Intel has continued to goose its existing 14nm process for ever higher clock speeds. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer's Blade Stealth gets a long-awaited upgrade to GeForce graphics and a Whiskey Lake CPU," 4 Dec. 2018 These were the six valves that would operate the tank’s real controls in the absence of human hands: moving treads, goosing the throttle. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Tank That's Tougher Than Wildfire," 13 Nov. 2018 Hints of the old Tiger have tantalized fans and goosed TV ratings. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Will You Pay to Watch Tiger and Phil?," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goose.' 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 goose


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for goose


Middle English gos, from Old English gōs; akin to Old High German gans goose, Latin anser, Greek chēn

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Statistics for goose

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for goose

The first known use of goose was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for goose



English Language Learners Definition of goose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of many different kinds of birds that swim, that are larger than ducks, and that have a long neck and webbed feet
: a female goose
: the meat of a goose used as food



English Language Learners Definition of goose (Entry 2 of 2)

US, informal
: to touch or pinch (someone) on the buttocks
: to increase the activity or amount of (something)


\ ˈgüs How to pronounce goose (audio) \
plural geese\ ˈgēs \

Kids Definition of goose

1 : a waterbird with webbed feet that is related to the smaller duck and the larger swan
2 : a female goose
3 : the meat of a goose used as food

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More from Merriam-Webster on goose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goose

Spanish Central: Translation of goose

Nglish: Translation of goose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of goose for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about goose

Comments on goose

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


to take the place or position of

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