\ 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 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 The pivoting tires dug 3-4 inches gouges in the lawn. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Why is my basil turning brown? And how does one repair tire marks in a yard?," 5 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Attorney General Steve Marshall said Alabama’s price-gouging laws go into effect when the governor declares a State of Emergency, which Gov. Kay Ivey did March 13 amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "No price gouging due to coronavirus, Alabama officials warn; complaints include toilet paper, soda, beans," 19 Mar. 2020 Ohioans with price-gouging complaints can contact the attorney general’s office at www.ohioprotects.org or 1-800-282-0515. Cincinnati Enquirer, "With coronavirus price gouging including $13 toilet paper, Yost wants consumer-protection law," 19 Mar. 2020 And its findings suggest that Amazon may, in fact, be in violation of several states’ anti-price-gouging laws. Talmon Joseph Smith, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus Exposes Amazon’s Algorithmic Greed," 11 Mar. 2020 The announcement came in the wake of widespread shortages caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, which have led to price-gouging both online and in stores. Allen Kim, CNN, "New York is producing its own hand sanitizer due to shortages caused by the coronavirus outbreak," 9 Mar. 2020 Norm whispers that we’re being gouged by the shiner prices. Will Ryan, Field & Stream, "Getting Wild on the Ice for Yellow Perch," 20 Feb. 2020 Shoppers worried about the coronavirus have been sweeping stores clean of hand sanitizer, and the Purell panic has led to price-gouging on Amazon and other online retailers. Dallas News, "Is hand sanitizer the best way to stop the coronavirus?," 3 Mar. 2020 Amazon and Facebook also struggle to crack down on sellers price-gouging items such as hand sanitizer on their third-party marketplaces, my colleagues Jeanne Whalen, Abha Bhattarai and Jay Greene report. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Coronavirus could hit start-up funding hard," 2 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

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

23 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gouge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gouge. Accessed 29 Mar. 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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