gossip

1 of 2

noun

gos·​sip ˈgä-səp How to pronounce gossip (audio)
1
a
dialectal British : godparent
c
: a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others
the worst gossip in town
2
a
: rumor or report of an intimate nature
spreading gossip about their divorce
b
: a chatty talk
c
: the subject matter of gossip
Their breakup was common gossip.
gossipry noun

gossip

2 of 2

verb

gossiped; gossiping; gossips

intransitive verb

: to relate gossip (see gossip entry 1 sense 2a)
gossiper noun

Did you know?

Old English sibb, meaning “relative” or “kinsman,” came from the adjective sibb, “related by blood” (the ancestor of modern English sibling). Old English godsibb was a person spiritually related to another, specifically by being a sponsor at baptism. Today we call such a person a godparent. Over the centuries, godsibb changed both in form and in meaning. Middle English gossib came to be used for a close friend or crony as well as for a godparent. From there it was only a short step to the gossip of today, a person no longer necessarily friend, relative, or sponsor, but someone filled with irresistible tidbits of rumor.

Example Sentences

Noun He had been spreading gossip about his coworkers. the latest news and gossip from the entertainment industry She writes a gossip column in the paper. I like having a good gossip now and then. Verb They spent the afternoon gossiping on the phone. They often gossip with each other about their neighbors. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
One such piece of gossip was a strange, left-field claim published in his third book about the Cowboys: that the team’s star quarterback, Troy Aikman, was gay. Corbin Smith, Rolling Stone, 7 Jan. 2023 Elisabeth, unhappily married and unhappy generally, is the subject of gossip; her weight is an obsession. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 6 Jan. 2023 Instead of being a truly juicy tell-all with behind-the-scenes gossip, the doc exploits both the news-making and behind-the-scenes deaths of the cast and crew. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 14 Jan. 2023 There was no glee in this gossip when Gina passed it on to me and the rest of the book group, Harry and Linda and Abi and Govinder and Sheila and Sunil and Kyung Hee and Jin. Han Ong, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2023 Instead of paparazzi publishing these photos in tabloids or on gossip websites, influencers are posting them on social media. Kalley Huang, New York Times, 7 Jan. 2023 Papal successions are always accompanied by weapons-grade gossip, but Francis’s was the first in the age of social media. David Van Biema, Time, 31 Dec. 2022 Ratajkowski and Davidson were first linked in November, after celebrity gossip Instagram account Deux Moi claimed that the two had been spotted together in New York City. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 28 Dec. 2022 Avoid gossip, cross your fingers and hope for the best for everyone. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 20 Dec. 2022
Verb
Even children begin to sort of gossip around the age of 2. Stacy S. Kim, WIRED, 4 Jan. 2023 Friends serve no purpose other than to silently judge you, gossip about you, and, on occasion, steal your Eve. Craig Thomas, The New Yorker, 15 Oct. 2022 Kutza is ever eager to share stories, to gossip, to offer opinions. Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune, 6 Oct. 2022 Lally has stayed in touch with his former staffers from his congressional campaigns, who would sometimes call him to gossip about local elections over the spring and summer. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2022 Lally has stayed in touch with his former staffers from his congressional campaigns, who would sometimes call him to gossip about local elections over the spring and summer. Sarah Ellison, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Dec. 2022 There are clout goblins and gossip sites that care more about attention than accuracy or accountability. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 23 Dec. 2022 During the height of the controversy, Chappelle’s support among many in the Black community never wavered, as evinced by responses on Black media platforms, gossip sites like the Shade Room and social media. Sonaiya Kelleystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Dec. 2022 Sora would gossip, cry and argue together for hours on end. Piers Vitebsky, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gossip.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English gossib, from Old English godsibb, from god god + sibb kinsman, from sibb related — more at sib

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1627, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gossip was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gossip

Cite this Entry

“Gossip.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gossip. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

gossip

noun
gos·​sip
ˈgäs-əp
1
: a person who reveals personal or sensational facts
2
a
: rumor or report of a personal nature
b
: chatty talk
gossip verb
gossiper noun
gossipy
-ə-pē
adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on gossip

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