\ ˈgau̇j How to pronounce gouge (audio) \

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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of gouge in a Sentence

Noun The accident left a big gouge in the side of the car. Verb 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 There is also a gouge and puncture mark on one of its claws that was likely caused by another Dineobellator sinking its own claw into it. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Newly discovered feathered dinosaur was one of the last raptors before extinction," 26 Mar. 2020 But that will be a heavy lift indeed with a health care system geared above all to price-gouge sick people out of as much money as possible. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Why America is so vulnerable to coronavirus," 3 Mar. 2020 Washington Post Mask gouging Amazon has had to warn some of its sellers not to price-gouge customers of their face masks. David Meyer, Fortune, "Two iconic CEOs step down," 26 Feb. 2020 But from the ground, the destruction is clear and devastating: A 33-foot wide, 13-foot gouge into the earth that began in the 1940s with an Allied sortie and ended Sunday morning in a massive blast in a barley field in central Germany. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "A mysterious explosion left a crater in a German field. It may have been a WWII bomb.," 25 June 2019 Erlewine carefully rubs the gouges in the wood that run parallel to the strings between the bridge and the sound hole, a sign of the force with which Willie plays. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Willie Nelson’s 50-year Love Affair with Trigger, His Faithful Guitar," 23 Nov. 2019 The accident left him with a deep gouge curving from the middle of his chin up through the edge of his lips, twisting his mouth into a slight but permanent sneer. Los Angeles Times, "They lived on the porous border between haves and have-nots. They died in a double murder-suicide," 10 Oct. 2019 Today, the houses's fifteen-feet-high oak doors, shaded by Callery pear trees on the north side of the street, bear gouges from that crow bar. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "The Secret History of Jeffrey Epstein's New York Townhouse," 10 July 2019 The tools were chisels and gouges with a variety of blades; Mr. Esterly had 130 such implements on hand at his workbench. BostonGlobe.com, "David Esterly, master carver steeped in history and nature, dies at 75," 22 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In order to go after a company for price gouging the state in Michigan, for instance, prosecutors would have to prove price fixing or fraud — a much higher bar. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "In Desperation, New York State Pays Up to 15 Times the Normal Prices for Medical Equipment," 2 Apr. 2020 Amazon is policing its site, trying to make sure sellers don't gouge panicked buyers. Anchorage Daily News, "Viral fear sparks global run on face masks," 1 Mar. 2020 The numbers say Denver has room to grow against the run, even after enormous improvement since being gouged for 269 yards by the Jaguars in Week 4. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ defense looks the part of a top 10 unit after stifling Browns," 4 Nov. 2019 Embiid appeared to try to gouge Towns’ eye before the two wrestled one another to the ground. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid each suspended two games for fight," 31 Oct. 2019 Specifically, her office has gone after price-gouging scams, those using the prospect of stimulus checks to get money or information from victims and those attempting to sell fake COVID-19 cures. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "L.A. County Reports Record Number of COVID-19 Deaths for Third Consecutive Day," 16 Apr. 2020 He's continued filing updates from home — including one on Saturday about alleged price-gouging on essential items in Madison County that was recorded in his garage. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "How TV news anchors and stations are improvising studios amid the coronavirus outbreak," 9 Apr. 2020 Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press Michigan football quarterback Shea Patterson said Tuesday night that his eyes were gouged during a fourth-quarter touchdown in Saturday's 28-21 loss at Penn State. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Shea Patterson had eye gouged at Penn State: 'I was screaming'," 23 Oct. 2019 As more people work from home, there's a rise in price-gouging on tech gadgets. Usa Today Network-wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A daily digest of what you need to know about coronavirus in Wisconsin (April edition)," 1 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for gouge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gouge

Last Updated

4 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gouge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gouge. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for gouge


How to pronounce gouge (audio)

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


\ ˈgau̇j How to pronounce gouge (audio) \

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 How to pronounce gouge (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gouge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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