gos·​sip | \ ˈgä-səp How to pronounce gossip (audio) \

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.


gossiped; gossiping; gossips

Definition of gossip (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

Other Words from gossip


gossipry \ ˈgä-​sə-​prē How to pronounce gossip (audio) \ noun


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 There’s gossip and the real person behind all that. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 23 Nov. 2021 The search for Andy’s killer rekindles the island residents’ gossip and suspicions about the family, including speculation about Blackburn’s serial killer, who was never caught. Oline H. Cogdill, sun-sentinel.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Nothing in the current crop of hypocritical royal-family TV series, tabloid gossip, and perverse historical dramas like The Favourite is so potent. Armond White, National Review, 10 Nov. 2021 The popular series took a hiatus after debuting its first six episodes over the summer, but now the gossip — and the scandal — is back as the second half of season 1 arrives just in time for the holidays. Dory Jackson, PEOPLE.com, 10 Nov. 2021 And Tuberville, a fan of bad jokes good gossip and cringey sports metaphors, is easy to like. Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2021 The bureau determined the two employees violated directives related to gossip and unprofessional conduct, records show. oregonlive, 4 Aug. 2021 Or catch up with gossip from your high school friends. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2021 For days, the internet has been awash in gossip about the health status of Green Bay Packers quarterback and NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, who tested positive for COVID-19 after leading many to believe he had been vaccinated. Emma Specter, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The place, which abuts the family home, is a gathering spot for locals to gossip, talk politics, and air their conflicts. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 Like if the whole world shared the same high-school friends to gossip about. Sanjena Sathian, The Atlantic, 28 Sep. 2021 As the crowd headed out to the after parties to gossip about the IPO and the imminent government response to the recent investigation into the economics of music streaming, many Ivors attendees will be hoping that turns out to be true. Mark Sutherland, Variety, 21 Sep. 2021 The crimes committed against Franza and Fanny are injustices of representation—injustices that attend to cruel thoughts as well as cruel words, to gossip and gaslighting and the production of biographically parasitic novels generally. Merve Emre, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Thiel expresses no ill will toward anyone, never stoops to gossip, and seldom cracks a joke or acknowledges that one has been made. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Bell explores all the tenets of the academic mystery — the pressure to publish or perish to gain tenure, thinly veiled jealousy over a colleague’s success, backbiting and gossip as currency. Oline H. Cogdill, sun-sentinel.com, 9 Aug. 2021 Lance pulls the ladies aside to gossip about the boys over some bubbly. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 25 Aug. 2021 Even more than having people watch the show, Safran is eager to talk — or rather gossip — about it. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, 12 Aug. 2021

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


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


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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Time Traveler for gossip

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near gossip




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Statistics for gossip

Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gossip.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gossip. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for gossip



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



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

: to talk about the personal lives of other people


gos·​sip | \ ˈgä-səp How to pronounce gossip (audio) \

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


gossiped; gossiping

Kids Definition of gossip (Entry 2 of 2)

: to talk about the personal lives of other people

More from Merriam-Webster on gossip

Nglish: Translation of gossip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gossip for Arabic Speakers


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