\ ˈgau̇j \

Definition of gouge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a chisel with a concavo-convex cross section
2a : the act of gouging
b : a groove or cavity scooped out
3 : an excessive or improper charge for something : extortion


gouged; gouging

Definition of gouge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to scoop out with or as if with a gouge (see gouge entry 1 sense 1)
2a : to force out (an eye) with the thumb
b : to thrust the thumb into the eye of
3 : to make (someone) pay too much for something : overcharge

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Other Words from gouge


gouger noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for gouge

Synonyms: Verb

overcharge, soak, sting, surcharge

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of gouge in a Sentence


The accident left a big gouge in the side of the car.


The lamp fell and gouged the table. A bomb had gouged a large crater in the street. They feel that they are being gouged by the oil companies.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The bomb-and-gouge style that prevails in the U. S.—in which players prioritize sheer length over accuracy—will be far less popular here. Brian Costa, WSJ, "The Beauty of Carnoustie Is Ugly Golf," 18 July 2018 Black had already contacted an expert in traffic accident reconstruction, and by Monday morning the man was examining the impact gouges, oil slicks, and tire marks at the scene. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Too Much Horsepower," 24 Dec. 2012 Scalpels, wood-carving gouges, and kitchen knives are perfect for adding details. Popular Mechanics, "How to Carve a Pumpkin Like a Pro," 31 Aug. 2018 The birds had no feathers below their necks and chest areas, and they were covered in gouges on their breasts, legs, and heads. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Mass. banned cockfighting in 1836. But this blood sport just won’t die," 29 May 2018 Japanese keyhole saws, gouges, a cheese-grater-like rasp called a microplane and, for the final steps, lots and lots of sandpaper. Bob Shallit, sacbee, "How an ‘accidental artist’ became the zen master of wood," 16 June 2018 Litterst also pointed out a baseball-size gouge in the marble of the penthouse’s ornate outer wall that was made by an errant antiaircraft bullet in 1942. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "Battered by time, nature and antiaircraft fire, Lincoln Memorial gets facelift," 14 June 2018 More and more, the bomb-and-gouge game prevalent on a week-to-week basis on the PGA Tour is being rewarded in the majors. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: Can a golfer with limited power still win the U.S. Open?," 9 June 2018 On Thursday, supporters of the agriculture safety net easily defeated an attempt to weaken the government’s sugar program, which critics say gouges consumers by propping up sugar prices. Andrew Taylor, BostonGlobe.com, "Conservative revolt over immigration sinks House farm bill," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As for the accusation that Mr. Hugin gouged patients, the unfortunate reality is that curing cancer isn’t cheap. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Menendez Method," 9 Oct. 2018 The likeness of each cat looked as if it had been attacked with a knife, their eyes and mouths gouged out. Sean Elder, Town & Country, "The War of The Grosses: Inside the Bitter Divorce Battle of the Laguna Beach "Bond King"," 22 Oct. 2018 The company started gouging her $75 per day to store the car. Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, "A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell," 17 Oct. 2018 In a statement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office defended the post-hurricane contracts and said some contractors had been trying to gouge the public in Irma's wake. Fox News, "Federal government will review Irma debris removal costs," 24 Sep. 2018 Muthart was found gouging out her own eyes with her hands outside of a church in Anderson, South Carolina, on February 6. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Who Gouged Out Her Eyes Reveals Why She Did It, Says 'Life Is More Beautiful Now'," 10 Mar. 2018 After all, no one can say Stubban was gouged with this 1-cent medical bill. David Lazarus, latimes.com, "50,000% markup for a shot makes the case for a single-payer healthcare system," 15 June 2018 How greedy drug company CEO Bob Hugin gouged cancer patients and enabled Donald Trump. Lev Facher, STAT, "Read the fine print: N.J. senator sets up phony health news website to attack challenger Bob Hugin," 13 July 2018 These boards are screwed and glued together, and are often cut and gouged. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Ursula von Rydingsvard wows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and at the Fabric Workshop, too," 31 May 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gouge

Noun and Verb

Middle English gowge, from Middle French gouge, from Late Latin gulbia

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Learn More about gouge

Dictionary Entries near gouge





gouge carving


gouge out

Statistics for gouge

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gouge

The first known use of gouge was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for gouge



English Language Learners Definition of gouge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a metal tool with a curved, sharp end that is used to cut and shape wood

: a deep cut or hole



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

: to cut a deep hole in (something)

: to make (a deep hole) in something

: to make (someone) pay too much money for something


\ ˈgau̇j \

Kids Definition of gouge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a chisel with a curved blade for scooping or cutting holes
2 : a hole or groove made by cutting or scraping


gouged; gouging

Kids Definition of gouge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a hole or groove in something by cutting or scraping


\ ˈgau̇j \

Medical Definition of gouge

: a chisel with a concavo-convex cross section for removing portions of bone in surgery

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More from Merriam-Webster on gouge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gouge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gouge

Spanish Central: Translation of gouge

Nglish: Translation of gouge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gouge for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gouge

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