Definition of goombah in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈɡo͞ombä/ /ɡo͞omˈbä/


North American informal
An associate or accomplice, especially a senior member of a criminal gang.
Example sentences
  • It ‘wants to be’ a companion piece to the gritty urban violence of Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and GoodFellas, telling its tale of goombahs who grow up and into a life of crime via voice-overs, rock music, and montages.
  • Even murderous goons and heartless goombahs were stirred to noble deeds.
  • The goombahs from whom Dave stole the drugs are on his trail, however, and before long Dave's dealing days are over, permanently.


1960s: probably a dialect alteration of Italian compàre 'godfather, friend, accomplice'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.