gumption was our Word of the Day on 08/14/2011. Hear the podcast!
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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
Another obstacle is the gumption required to front up to guests and cook three courses before their eyes.
With enough talent and gumption, performers can cement their icon statuses at the MTV Video Music Awards.
And so everyone, kid and adult, is dragged back into an adventure of sorts, calling on knowledge of nerdy arcana—and plenty of small-town, blue-collar gumption—to figure things out.
Jessica Chastain has of late been playing almost nothing but take-charge types with guts and gumption (Zero Dark Thirty, Miss Sloane, Molly’s Game) and wealthy New York widow Catherine Weldon can certainly be described that way.
More: Boyd bent but did not break, showing gumption in big situations against the best team in the American League.
The megaphones only got louder, a function of timing and gumption.
To win the British Open on Sunday, Jordan Spieth relied on his peerless iron play, steely putting and no small amount of gumption.
By far, Houston has displayed the most gumption in that division.
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
GUMPTION Defined for Kids
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