Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An incompetent, foolish, or stupid person.
  • n. A careless mistake; a slip.
  • intransitive v. To make a silly mistake; blunder: goofed up by turning right instead of left.
  • intransitive v. To waste or kill time: goofed around at the mall.
  • intransitive v. To tease or make fun of someone: goofed on her younger brother.
  • transitive v. To spoil, as through clumsiness; bungle. Usually used with up: goof up a job.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mistake or error
  • n. As a specific usage in film, an error made during production which finds its way into the final release.
  • n. A foolish person
  • n. A child molester.
  • v. To make a mistake.
  • v. To engage in mischief.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a stupid fool.
  • intransitive v. to commit a faux pas or fault.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
  • n. a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
  • v. commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake

Etymologies

Possibly alteration of dialectal goff, fool, from obsolete French goffe, stupid.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from dialect goff ("foolish clown") from early modern English goffen (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Should help promote the benefits of martial arts, though. (permanent screengrab of the goof is here, for when they finally fix the error)

    Boing Boing: December 15, 2002 - December 21, 2002 Archives

  • NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday demanded the resignation of Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath for what it called a goof-up in the advertisement issued by her Ministry.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • Is it just me or is Terry McAuliffe the biggest spin goof doctor in political history!

    Clinton makes popular vote pitch in new ad

  • It's all crap, and the Democractic Party will once again goof up by taking the nomination away from Hillary Clinton.

    Poll: Obama gaining support with key Clinton demographics

  • MALVEAUX: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama admitting what he says he calls a goof-off in high school who experimented with alcohol and drugs.

    CNN Transcript Nov 21, 2007

  • Perhaps the biggest goof is to drop the American from American Indian, as President Bush did at the ceremony while noting that ‘like many Indian dwellings, the new museum building faces east toward the rising sun.’

    The Volokh Conspiracy » 2004 » September

  • I mean look at Bill Murray, before he did Lost in Translation he was always known as the goof ball comedic actor, and then completely sent everyone into a total 180* with one of the best comedic/dramatic performances I have ever seen.

    Chris Pontius Cast in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere | /Film

  • Many Canadians will quickly dismiss Coulter as a goof, which is just as easy as her dismissing Canadians as a bunch of beer-guzzling hosers.

    London Free Press

  • Though the goof is a minor one (in that it doesn't change the conclusion of the report), the backlash probably won't be, given what happened the last time around.

    Discover Blogs

  • If the goof is a petty one, there is not much of a need to bother the courts or taxpayers with the cost of a trial.

    All articles at Blogcritics

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Comments

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  • The sort of person who, when being drowned by a known attacker, will still come up for that last desperate breath and cry, voice thick with sincerity and passion, "I lerve you!"

    January 3, 2010

  • Another -oof word that's actually in the WordNet database but which WeirdNet fails to display here. As is proof. I think we have a pattern... and an odd-sounding bug report in the making.

    March 21, 2009