gumption was our Word of the Day on 08/14/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of gumption in a Sentence
It took a lot of gumption to speak up for yourself like that.
that girl has no more gumption than a grasshopper and is likely to marry the first man who comes along
Recent Examples of gumption from the Web
With enough talent and gumption, performers can cement their icon statuses at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Some groups have been hamstrung by boards of directors who have not been willing to take the steps the Birmingham centers have, and others have simply not had the gumption or confidence to do so.
But robots can now exhibit some similar qualities to the human mind, including empathy, adaptability, and gumption.
Another obstacle is the gumption required to front up to guests and cook three courses before their eyes.
And the only people with the integrity, gumption and sleuthing skills to save it are Mitch and his lifeguards.
Alexander Rodnyansky, a veteran producer who works with Zvyagintsev and produced this film, said the very act of making the movie was an act of gumption — for economic reasons.
But to those who had followed her career, her gumption in Vietnam was nothing new.
Trading up requires the, um, gumption of a quarterback that used his old body as a battering ram, hurtling toward the goal line against Green Bay in the Super Bowl.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gumption.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
English speakers have had gumption (the word, that is) since the early 1700s. The term's exact origins aren't known, but its earliest known uses are found in British and especially Scottish dialects (which also include the forms rumblegumption and rumgumption). In its earliest uses, gumption referred to intelligence or common sense, especially when those qualities were combined with high levels of energy. By the 1860s, American English speakers were also using gumption to imply ambition or tenacity, but it wasn't until the early 1900s that gumption began to appear in English texts as a direct synonym of courage or get-up-and-go. American showman P.T. Barnum also claimed that gumption named a particular kind of hard cider, but that sense is far from common today.
Origin and Etymology of gumption
First Known Use: 1719See Words from the same year
Synonymsdiscreetness, discretion, common sense [chiefly dialect], horse sense, levelheadedness, nous [chiefly British], policy, prudence, sense, sensibleness, wisdom, wit
Related Wordsstreet smarts; farsightedness, forehandedness, foresight, foresightedness, forethoughtfulness, judgment (or judgement); brains, gray matter, intelligence; logicality, logicalness, practicality, rationality, rationalness; discernment, discrimination, insight, sagacity, sapience; acumen, astuteness, clearheadedness, keenness, penetration, perspicacity, shrewdness; care, caution, circumspection, precaution, premeditation
Near Antonymsshortsightedness; brainlessness, foolishness, half-wittedness, idiocy, senselessness, stupidity; carelessness, heedlessness; unreasonableness
GUMPTION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of gumption for English Language Learners
: courage and confidence
GUMPTION Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up gumption? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).