Definition of goof in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡo͞of/
informal, chiefly North American


1A mistake: he made one of the most embarrassing goofs of his tenure
More example sentences
  • We can see them all too clearly in other people: workout mistakes, diet goofs, social gaffes.
  • One can only presume, therefore, that all the tactical blunders and propaganda goofs which have characterised events so far were all part of this cunning plan to begin with.
  • He is disarmingly straightforward about his goofs and gaffes, of which he had plenty during his first go-round.
2A foolish or stupid person.
Example sentences
  • Ten thousand reckless little goofs get injured in our country's playground parks each year according to the Ontario-based Canadian Standards Association.
  • People too often get a job and transform from humans into robots, acting like oppressive goofs, under the comfy rationalization that they have to perform such tasks because they need the money.
  • During my class play, my friends and I were dancing like goofs backstage.


[no object]
1Spend time idly or foolishly; fool around: I was goofing around and broke my arm
More example sentences
  • I'd spent the early evening goofing around with a bottle of Mad Dog, then decided to take a little nap before shuffling off to the liquor store to stock up for the night.
  • They spent so much time goofing around that their parents feared for their future.
  • She obeyed giddily and the trio spent another half hour goofing around on the ice.
1.1 (goof off) Evade a duty; idle or shirk: he was goofing off from his math homework
More example sentences
  • We get to eat what we want, when we want it, watch back-to-back James Bond movies, as we did today, and celebrate and goof off in a way that works for us.
  • I've got a bit of a bug today and am still on vacation, so I think I'll goof off some more.
  • We got to spend our summer doing what very few people get to do anymore - just hang out and goof off.
mess around/about, fool around, clown, act up, play the fool
1.2 (goof on) Make fun of; ridicule: Lew and I started goofing on Alison’s friend
More example sentences
  • Here the real Chris Isaak and Silvertones are playing out there like pros - not a faux tribute band - and Chris is goofing on the band like he does on TV.
  • It was one thing for intimates to make light of Shawn's squeamish quirks, but he was an outsider goofing on a dignified old man whose job he was about to take.
  • When your own network starts goofing on you, watch out.
2Make a mistake; blunder: you’re scared to say yes in case you goof up
More example sentences
  • Usually, in a crossword, if I goof up, I can erase the word, or just complete a different part of the puzzle.
  • Still I know there will be times when I goof up - when things would not be the way I want them to be.
  • You knew that Barney was going to goof up sometime during the show.
blunder, err, mess up, fluff, flub, slip up, make a mistake


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with goof

aloof, behoof, hoof, pouffe, proof, roof, shadoof, spoof, Tartuffe, underproof, woof

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: goof

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