\ ˈgün How to pronounce goon (audio) \

Definition of goon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stupid person
2a : a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents

go on

went on; gone on; going on; goes on

Definition of go on (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to continue on or as if on a journey life goes on went on to greater things
b : to keep on : continue went on smoking
c : proceed went on to win the election
2 : to take place : happen what's going on
3 : to talk especially in an effusive manner the way people go on about their ancestors— Hamilton Basso

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Synonyms & Antonyms for goon

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of goon in a Sentence

Noun He was beat up by a couple of goons. an unfortunate tendency to call those who disagree with him “brainless goons Verb what in the world is going on in there? my, but Aunt Betty does go on about all of her aches and pains
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Others began to disappear in Colombo, the capital, into white vans driven by pro-government goons. The Economist, "An election campaign in Sri Lanka stirs old ghosts," 5 Sep. 2019 The shift into the more gnarly thriller territory of the sinister Yates and his goons becomes formulaic, its derivative neo-noir nastiness not helped by distinguished stage veteran Cullum being so miscast. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Jungleland': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 Nevertheless, Match of the Day did their best to get the Magpies' nerves jangling... As much as Gary Lineker and his goons tried, Steve Bruce's boys held firm., "Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle: Twitter Reacts as the Lilywhites Fall to Shock Home Defeat," 25 Aug. 2019 Johnson and Statham are fun to watch verbally tussle, though their chemistry shines best in group efforts, whether getting tortured by Brixton and his goons or teaming with Hattie. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Hobbs and Shaw' sputters as Dwayne Johnson's 'Fast and Furious' spinoff," 1 Aug. 2019 Turns out, Frederica was merely distracting our fearless mother while her son and a few of his goons emptied out her salon, boarded up the doors, and changed the locks. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Performing Through Pain: 5 Key Takeaways From 'Pose' Season 2, Episode 6," 24 July 2019 With the rest of his goons en route to Hungary, Logan tasks Shiv with shutting down Connor’s presidential ambitions. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Succession Game of Thrones Sees an Unlikely Contender Emerge," 26 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter The goons were probably emboldened by CasaPound’s success in the suburbs of Rome in the recent local elections as well as the League’s strong showing in the European elections. J.b., The Economist, "Inside Italy’s culture wars," 22 July 2019 In 2018 her father was allegedly beaten senseless in broad daylight by Mr Sengar’s brother and a bunch of goons—and then jailed on unrelated charges. The Economist, "India’s justice system does far too little to protect witnesses," 22 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goon.' 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 goon


1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for goon


probably short for English dialect gooney simpleton

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Time Traveler for goon

Time Traveler

The first known use of goon was in the 15th century

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Statistics for goon

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Goon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for goon


How to pronounce go on (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of goon

chiefly US : a person who is hired to threaten, beat up, or kill someone
chiefly British : a stupid person

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More from Merriam-Webster on goon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goon

Nglish: Translation of goon for Spanish Speakers

Comments on goon

What made you want to look up goon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


strength of mind

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