gossip

noun
gos·​sip | \ ˈgä-səp \

Definition of gossip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a dialectal British : godparent
c : a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others the worst gossip in town
2a : rumor or report of an intimate nature spreading gossip about their divorce
b : a chatty talk
c : the subject matter of gossip Their breakup was common gossip.

gossip

verb
gossiped; gossiping; gossips

Definition of gossip (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to relate gossip (see gossip entry 1 sense 2a)

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Other Words from gossip

Noun

gossipry \ ˈgä-​sə-​prē \ noun

Verb

gossiper noun

Did You Know?

Old English sibb, meaning “relative” or “kinsman,” came from the adjective sibb, “related by blood” (the ancestor of modern English sibling). Old English godsibb was a person spiritually related to another, specifically by being a sponsor at baptism. Today we call such a person a godparent. Over the centuries, godsibb changed both in form and in meaning. Middle English gossib came to be used for a close friend or crony as well as for a godparent. From there it was only a short step to the gossip of today, a person no longer necessarily friend, relative, or sponsor, but someone filled with irresistible tidbits of rumor.

Examples of gossip in a Sentence

Noun

He had been spreading gossip about his coworkers. the latest news and gossip from the entertainment industry She writes a gossip column in the paper. I like having a good gossip now and then.

Verb

They spent the afternoon gossiping on the phone. They often gossip with each other about their neighbors.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To supply his stream of scoops, Weinstein employed onetime tabloid columnist and gossip show host A.J. Benza. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 But arguably the biggest gossip-starter has been the seemingly endless stream of diamond rings that Kylie appears to enjoy wearing on social media. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Every Time Kylie Jenner Sparked Engagement Rumors With Diamond Rings," 6 Jan. 2019 Clearly, this rumor is not the kind of thing the gossip mill plans to let die a quiet death on its own. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Are Not Feuding, According to a Body Language Expert," 26 Dec. 2018 Her gelato is as good as anything in Italy, and her café functions as a central gossip spot. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018 Anyone who loves gossip or hearing about other people’s love lives. Verge Staff, The Verge, "The Verge’s guide to tolerable family streaming entertainment," 21 Nov. 2018 The sequence of events seems essentially right, except for the quaint idea that Bobby—or anybody else who read a newspaper or gossip column over the previous twenty years—was unaware of Sinatra’s fraternizing with the Mob. Lee Server, Town & Country, "The Real Reason Frank Sinatra Was Banned from the Kennedy White House," 7 Nov. 2018 At a party, as the guests gossip about Marnie, short motifs get a propulsive, repetitive energy reminiscent of the music of John Adams. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Marnie’ Review: A Thief’s Secrets," 22 Oct. 2018 In the 2017 show, about the rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, de Havilland was portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones as a gossip. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "Olivia de Havilland’s feud with FX goes on," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Katie watched the Celtics more closely so she and Mike could gossip about the players and the trades. Kari Bornhorst Mchugh, BostonGlobe.com, "Why I’ll never forget my son’s nurses," 6 Feb. 2018 There is a small crowd of men gossiping and sipping coffee. Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 Perhaps the Tesla production line is so far behind schedule because workers spend their time day-trading the stock and gossiping about the latest price moves, in which case going private would solve the problem. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Elon Musk’s Flawed Plan for Tesla Shareholders," 9 Aug. 2018 The evening ended with cocktails to celebrate the insightful day as people gossiped about the highlights and their favorite moments. Katie Knoll, Vogue, "A Force for Change: Vogue’s Forces of Fashion," 15 Oct. 2018 Greasing your scalp on the porch, pressing your bangs before church, gossiping in the salon while hot combs smoked the air—this was rich cultural stuff, a bonding experience. Tia Williams, Glamour, "Dear Black Moms, It's on Us to Dismantle What 'Good Hair' Means for Our Daughters," 24 Sep. 2018 Scholars and actors comment on the plays’ love affairs and moral quandaries the way pop-culture pundits on the E! network might gossip about Justin Bieber. Don Steinberg, WSJ, "The Play’s the Thing in a New Season of ‘Shakespeare Uncovered’," 24 Sep. 2018 Its suspicions of George Papadopoulos were based on drunken gossip about Hillary’s emails when the whole world was gossiping about Hillary’s emails. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Clapper Disinformation Campaign," 29 May 2018 And Warren as a Boston aristocrat and a Brahmin considered this an indignity--to have his private life gossiped about in the tabloid press. Lillian Cunningham, Washington Post, "Episode 15 of the Constitutional podcast: ‘Privacy’," 15 Jan. 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

1627, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gossip

Noun and Verb

Middle English gossib, from Old English godsibb, from god god + sibb kinsman, from sibb related — more at sib

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Statistics for gossip

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gossip

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

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More Definitions for gossip

gossip

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gossip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: information about the behavior and personal lives of other people
: information about the lives of famous people
: a person who often talks about the private details of other people's lives

gossip

verb

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

: to talk about the personal lives of other people

gossip

noun
gos·​sip | \ ˈgä-səp \

Kids Definition of gossip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who repeats stories about other people
2 : talk or rumors involving the personal lives of other people

gossip

verb
gossiped; gossiping

Kids Definition of gossip (Entry 2 of 2)

: to talk about the personal lives of other people

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More from Merriam-Webster on gossip

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gossip

Spanish Central: Translation of gossip

Nglish: Translation of gossip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gossip for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gossip

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