Definition of goose in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡuːs/

noun (plural geese /ɡiːs/)

1A large waterbird with a long neck, short legs, webbed feet, and a short broad bill. Generally geese are larger than ducks and have longer necks and shorter bills.
  • Several genera in the family Anatidae; most domesticated geese are descended from the greylag.
Example sentences
  • It also has contributed to the decrease of water fowl such as duck, geese, curlew, plover and snipe.
  • Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.
  • Millions of birds - ducks, geese, pelicans, shore birds - use the sea each year.
1.1A female goose.
Example sentences
  • The identification mark on the head draws the difference between the female and male variety, goose and the gander.
1.2 [mass noun] The flesh of a goose as food.
Example sentences
  • It is known that oysters, eel, corn bread, goose, venison, watercress, leeks, berries, and plums were eaten, all accompanied by sweet wine.
  • Christmas dinner includes roast pork or goose, blood sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, and head cheese, with gingerbread cookies for dessert.
  • The traditional Christmas main course is now mushrooming into a smorgasbord of poultry and red meats, with many people offering goose, fillet steak and lamb on top of the perennial turkey and ham.
2 informal A foolish person: ‘Silly goose,’ he murmured fondly
More example sentences
  • She called me a silly goose earlier… she's a nutcase as well.
  • But if we blithely assume that the second enclosure movement will have the same benign effects as the first, we may look like very silly geese indeed.
  • Lord, you're so good to me… Why am I such a silly goose?
3 (plural gooses) A tailor’s smoothing iron.
Example sentences
  • A goose is a tailor's iron; a donkey is a special board used for pressing sleeves and the shears are tailoring scissors.


[with object] informal
1Poke (someone) in the bottom.
Example sentences
  • Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt started goosing me in a sensitive spot and I couldn't stop laughing.
  • Never goose anybody with your wand, unless it is specifically called for in the ritual.
  • There are many times I saw him goose her affectionately as he walked by her in the kitchen.
2North American Give (something) a boost; invigorate: the government’s desire to goose the tired housing market
More example sentences
  • Others like hedge funds have compensation structures that offer them a fraction of the returns generated, and in an atmosphere of low returns, the desire to goose them up increases.
  • Economists generally view rising deficits as a short-term positive, goosing the economy, but as a long-term threat, tending to drive up interest rates.
  • So, you have both sides fighting very hard to make sure that the press isn't goosing the process along.


what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander (also what’s good for the goose is good for the gander)

proverb What is appropriate in one case is also appropriate in the other case in question.


Old English gōs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gans and German Gans, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin anser and Greek khēn.

  • Geese have long been a mainstay of the farmyard, and are found in several idioms. If someone kills the goose that lays the golden eggs they destroy a reliable and valuable source of income. In one of Aesop's fables a man finds that one of his geese lays eggs of pure gold, which make him rich. But he grows dissatisfied with just one egg a day, and kills the goose in the mistaken belief that it will be filled with golden eggs. There is no gold inside it and no longer any more golden eggs. The US film producer Sam Goldwyn, famous for idiosyncratic expressions like ‘include me out’, is supposed to have said: ‘That's the way with these directors, they're always biting the hand that lays the golden egg.’ In America a goose egg is a score of zero in baseball and other sports. This derives from the egg shape of 0, in just the same way as does the cricketing term duck (originally ‘a duck's egg’). We associate the military marching step known as the goose-step with the Nazis, but the term was recorded much earlier than the 1930s, at the beginning of the 19th century. Goose-stepping soldiers advance by swinging each leg stiffly forwards without bending it at the knee, in a way reminiscent of geese. To goose someone (late 19th century) is to poke their bottom as a joke. This meaning probably comes from the way that geese can be aggressive and ready to peck at people unexpectedly. A gooseberry (mid 16th century) may be a modified version of German Krausebeere or the French dialect gozelle, or it may simply have been created by combining the existing words goose and berry. The ‘unwanted third party’ sense, as in ‘playing gooseberry’, dates from the 19th century. See also gossamer, sauce

Words that rhyme with goose

abstruse, abuse, adduce, Ballets Russes, Belarus, Bruce, burnous, caboose, charlotte russe, conduce, deduce, deuce, diffuse, douce, educe, excuse, induce, introduce, juice, Larousse, loose, luce, misuse, moose, mousse, noose, obtuse, Palouse, produce, profuse, puce, recluse, reduce, Rousse, seduce, sluice, Sousse, spruce, traduce, truce, use, vamoose, Zeus

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Line breaks: goose

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