Definition of Gothic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡäTHik/


1Relating to the Goths or their extinct East Germanic language, which provides the earliest manuscript evidence of any Germanic language (4th-6th centuries ad).
Example sentences
  • With the extinction of the Ostrogothic language, the longest-surviving Gothic people finally disappeared from history.
  • He translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language.
  • The Germans consolidated in the Po Valley, along the so-called Gothic line, and fought a hard battle through the autumn and winter months.
2Of or in the style of architecture prevalent in western Europe in the 12th-16th centuries, characterized by pointed arches, rib vaults, and flying buttresses, together with large windows and elaborate tracery.
Example sentences
  • About 1120 arches began to be made pointed, and from this grew the style known as Early English, the first phase of Gothic architecture in England.
  • Ramsey reminds us of the increased importance and status of named architects at this time, a process initiated during the earlier periods of Gothic architecture.
  • Nor were these all soaring, vertical lancets that ended, Gothic style, in pointed arches.
3 (also pseudoarchaicGothick) Belonging to or redolent of the Dark Ages; portentously gloomy or horrifying: 19th-century Gothic horror
More example sentences
  • Although William Beckford wrote a Gothick romance as reckless and immoderate as himself, his life of epic prodigality would arrest attention had he not written a single line.
  • The Castle of Otranto was an early example of the Gothick horror novel and Historic Doubts on Richard III fathered a minor academic industry.
  • It's not a genre like, say, science fiction or Gothic horror or romance.
4(Of lettering) of or derived from the angular style of handwriting with broad vertical downstrokes used in western Europe from the 13th century, including Fraktur and black-letter typefaces.
Example sentences
  • It comes in two different typographic styles, Gothic typeface and graffiti style, both of which are popular in hip-hop on an international scale.
  • A band of gilded silver inscribed with Gothic lettering that reads BRACHIUM S. PHILIPPI encircles the wrist of the arm relic.
  • In Europe, the Gothic script of some manuscripts and of early printing (Gutenberg's, for example) enjoys a similar life as pattern alone.
5 (gothic) Relating to goths or their rock music.
Example sentences
  • If shivers down your spine are what you're after, this is prog gothic ethnoforgery electronica at its finest.
  • I kind of thought it sounded gothic or it had some kind of black metal connotation to it.
  • What do Rugby league, gothic music, mouldy posters and blogging have in common?


1The language of the Goths.
Example sentences
  • Goths had their own Arian churches (as can still be seen in Ravenna), and surviving documents written by clerics show that Gothic was spoken there.
  • Especially interesting is the Crimean Gothic word for ‘egg’.
2The Gothic style of architecture.
Example sentences
  • Here, I stood face-to-face with magnificent structures in 17 architectural styles, including Gothic, renaissance and classical.
  • After much discussion, we looked at different door styles from different architectural styles such as Gothic, Art Deco, Colonial and Modern.
  • She also gave an account of the Russian architecture - Baroque, Gothic, Art Nouveau.
3Gothic type.
Example sentences
  • ‘Erich’ became ‘Eric’ and he now wrote in Latin characters instead of Gothic.
  • It is also written in the new humanist script: this replaced medieval Gothic script and, in its rejection of Gothic's abbreviations and fusion of letters, made text more accessible.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡäTHək(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • Pascal Humbert and Jean-Yves Tola spend most of their time as two-thirds of the Gothically charged, alt-country, Denver based band 16 Horsepower.
  • The golden ceiling arched Gothically towards the heavens.
  • A reddish light shone out from Gothically arched windows above, illuminating the alley with a scarlet tinge.


Pronunciation: /ˈɡäTHəˌsizəm/
Example sentences
  • The nearest linear example to the style employed by lead singer/songwriter Colin Meloy is the literary Gothicism typified by Victorian authors such as Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters.
  • I guess this time around the half-assed attempts at electronicism beat out the half-assed attempts at Gothicism, but not by a whole lot, and I wouldn't go so far as to say I like Smith's intentions here.
  • Accordingly, as with the ludicrous fake Gothicism of the title, it proved a classic case of Nicholas Hentz's just missing the boat, with the author mercifully consigned to obscurity.


From French gothique or late Latin gothicus, from Gothi (see Goth). It was used in the 17th and 18th centuries to mean 'not classical' (i.e., not Greek or Roman), and hence to refer to medieval architecture that did not follow classical models (Gothic (sense 2 of the adjective)) and a typeface based on medieval handwriting (Gothic (sense 4 of the adjective)).

Words that rhyme with Gothic


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Goth·ic

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