\ 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

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

But from the ground, the destruction is clear and unforgiving: 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. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Massive blast leaves crater in German barley field," 25 June 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 tools were chisels and gouges with a variety of blades; Mr. Esterly had 130 such implements on hand at his workbench. New York Times, "David Esterly, 75, Master Carver Steeped in History and Nature, Dies," 21 June 2019 His game typifies the bomb-and-gouge style that is more commonly associated with younger players, with booming drives sprayed all over the course. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Is This the Year Phil Mickelson Wins the U.S. Open?," 11 Feb. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

African American migrants who fled the South crammed into marginal neighborhoods where landlords gouged them thanks to their lack of access to alternatives. Calvin Schermerhorn, Twin Cities, "Calvin Schermerhorn: Why the racial wealth gap persists more than 150 years after emancipation," 27 June 2019 First, test a wallpaper seam with the tip of a metal putty knife, taking care not to gouge the drywall with the knife. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "The Best (and Easiest) Ways to Remove Wallpaper," 7 June 2019 Investors should recall that the surging Nasdaq Biotechnology Index plunged by nearly 40% from its July 2015 peak when price-gouging headlines begat promises from politicians to crack down on the sector. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Investors, Brace Yourselves for More Drug-Price Drama," 16 May 2018 In makeshift bunkers — one of them formerly a blind woman’s bedroom that was reinforced with concrete — slits have been gouged into the stonework, offering killers a view of the surrounding streets. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "Beirut civil war museum is haunting, but few Lebanese want to disturb the ghosts," 14 Jan. 2018 Not just politicians in Washington — but drug companies that gouge Californians with sky-high prices. Maloy Moore, latimes.com, "California trails in regulating short-term lenders. This bill could finally rein them in," 25 June 2019 Shortly after Machado was forced to step down, his name and face were violently gouged off, an erasure the recent renovation has carefully preserved. Esther Allen, The New York Review of Books, "The Art of the Possible at Havana’s Bienal," 15 June 2019 Roper gouged Wickey’s eyes, cut off one of his testicles and crushed his chest, according to court records. oregonlive.com, "Oregon woman sentenced to prison for gruesome attack on quadriplegic roommate," 7 June 2019 One death-row inmate in Polunsky, Andre Thomas, gouged out his own eyes and ate one. The Economist, "What it’s like to spend half a life in solitary confinement," 5 June 2019

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

30 Jun 2019

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
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

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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