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gum·​shoe ˈgəm-ˌshü How to pronounce gumshoe (audio)


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gumshoed; gumshoeing

intransitive verb

: to engage in detective work

Examples of gumshoe in a Sentence

Noun the couple paid a gumshoe to look for their missing son
Recent Examples on the Web
Pay Out a Reward Send gumshoes home with Detect-It-Yourself kits. Country Living Staff, Country Living, 8 Sep. 2023 The leakers’ tactics are as gumshoe as obtaining the phone number of a target, then convincing a phone carrier to switch that number to their phone’s SIM card to gain access to their text and audio messages. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 4 Aug. 2023 Marlowe, however, is not the only gumshoe on the case. Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2023 An aspiring gumshoe, Susie is first introduced as a precocious grade schooler, sitting beside her mother, Anne (Jammie Patton) as the two read a detective novel — the nice kind that encourages adolescent curiosity and ends with a virtuous sleuth catching a mustache-twirling menace. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 25 July 2023 Yearling Sammy Keyes There have been plenty of kid detectives over the years, particularly high school gumshoes. Maureen Lee Lenker and Devan Coggan,, 14 Mar. 2023 Dressed up as a post-modern, neo-noir detective piece in the style of Raymond Chandler novels or Hitchcockian classics, playwright E.M. Lewis’ stab at suspense can’t fill the gumshoes of its masterful ancestral archetypes. oregonlive, 16 May 2023 Noir Bar brings all of Muller's extensive knowledge, commitment to extensive research, and penchant for a good time to the table and swizzles them together with a healthy pour of booze resulting in a book sure to appeal to everyone from a scheming femme fatale to a wise-cracking gumshoe. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 16 May 2023 As the script loses its nimble dialogue, Rock sheds his snappier early mixture of smart stand-up and steely-eyed gumshoe for an unsuccessful pouty-faced exterior. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gumshoe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1913, in the meaning defined above


1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gumshoe was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near gumshoe

Cite this Entry

“Gumshoe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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