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gos·​sip ˈgä-səp How to pronounce gossip (audio)
dialectal British : godparent
: a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others
the worst gossip in town
: rumor or report of an intimate nature
spreading gossip about their divorce
: a chatty talk
: the subject matter of gossip
Their breakup was common gossip.
gossipry noun


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gossiped; gossiping; gossips

intransitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
About 10 years ago, the gossip columnist Liz Smith invited him out to lunch at a nice restaurant near her home. Alex Traub, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2022 Indeed, gossip columns began to report that Webber would replace LuPone, who was under contract to take the show to Broadway, with Close. Eric Andersson, Peoplemag, 27 Oct. 2022 For now, layoff speculations are all virtual water cooler gossip. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 Though not in costume, the actor enjoyed a Halloween dinner in 1945 with Gilbert Roland, Constance Bennett, and Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons. Janaya Wecker, Town & Country, 26 Sep. 2022 Carter was a gossip-site fixture and known for headlines surrounding his personal life. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Nov. 2022 The arrest was originally reported by the Broward courthouse news and gossip site JAABlog. Angie Dimichele, Sun Sentinel, 7 Oct. 2022 A day after the listing went up, gossip site TMZ wrote about it. Joseph Pisani, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2022 The program, which brings the gossip site’s news to television screens, first debuted in 2007 and is now cleared in 200 markets. Ej Panaligan, Variety, 29 Sep. 2022
Burmese influencer Han Nyein Oo rose to prominence in 2020, posting memes and gossip about Burmese celebrities on Facebook to an audience that grew to several hundred thousand people in Myanmar by early 2021. WIRED, 21 Sep. 2022 This spot is mostly the province of the older men, although their women folk, who are more apt to gossip in their kitchens, join them there from time to time. Alissa Simon, Variety, 19 Aug. 2022 Sure, the pandemic may have deprived us of more important things, but for many, one of the joys of regular social interaction was having the chance to gossip. Liam Hess, Vogue, 17 Aug. 2022 Wynonna, 58, was responding to gossip that emerged after the April 30 death of her mother and former duet partner, Naomi Judd. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 6 Oct. 2022 With that, the men and women break into separate groups to gossip about their options and prepare for the night's bacchanal. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 28 Sep. 2022 Worry Darling reduced potential conversations around the film to gossip and pop culture fodder and prevented the movie from standing on its own and speaking for itself. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 26 Sep. 2022 The women seek to start anew and hope their identities will remain unknown, but gossip in the small town quickly spreads, unraveling their deepest family secrets and truths. Joe Otterson, Variety, 9 Aug. 2022 Managers don’t particularly like malcontents and workers who gossip and spread rumors behind their backs. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


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


1627, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near gossip

Cite this Entry

“Gossip.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gossip. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a person who reveals personal or sensational facts
: rumor or report of a personal nature
: chatty talk
gossip verb
gossiper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on gossip

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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