from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various wild or domesticated waterbirds of the family Anatidae, and especially of the genera Anser, Branta, and Chen, characteristically having a shorter neck than that of a swan and a shorter, more pointed bill than that of a duck.
  • noun The female of such a bird.
  • noun The flesh of such a bird used as food.
  • noun Informal A silly person.
  • noun A tailor's pressing iron with a long curved handle.
  • noun Slang A poke, prod, or pinch between or on the buttocks.
  • transitive verb To poke, prod, or pinch (a person) between or on the buttocks.
  • transitive verb To move to action; spur.
  • transitive verb To give a spurt of fuel to (a car, for example); cause to accelerate quickly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hiss at; hiss down; condemn by hissing.
  • noun In keno, the globe from which the numbered balls are withdrawn.
  • noun Any bird of the family Anatidæ and subfamily Anserinæ, of which there are about 40 species of several genera, as well as different varieties of the domesticated bird. See phrases below.
  • noun A silly, foolish person; a simpleton: in allusion to the supposed stupidity of the domestic goose, inferred from its somewhat clumsy appearance and motions.
  • noun A tailors' smoothing-iron: so called from the resemblance of its handle to the neck of a goose.
  • noun A game of chance formerly common in England.
  • noun A piece used in the game of fox and geese.
  • noun The European graylaggoose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any large web-footen bird of the subfamily Anserinæ, and belonging to Anser, Branta, Chen, and several allied genera. See Anseres.
  • noun Any large bird of other related families, resembling the common goose.
  • noun A tailor's smoothing iron, so called from its handle, which resembles the neck of a goose.
  • noun A silly creature; a simpleton.
  • noun A game played with counters on a board divided into compartments, in some of which a goose was depicted.
  • noun an attempt to accomplish something impossible or unlikely of attainment.
  • noun See under Fen.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any pedunculated barnacle of the genus Anatifa or Lepas; -- called also duck barnacle. See Barnacle, and Cirripedia.
  • noun [Obs.] a silly person.
  • noun (Bot.) a coarse kind of rush (Juncus squarrosus).
  • noun [Colloq. Eng.] Michaelmas.
  • noun (Bot.) The annual spear grass (Poa annua).
  • noun anything, as a rod of iron or a pipe, curved like the neck of a goose; specially (Naut.), an iron hook connecting a spar with a mast.
  • noun a large feather or quill of a goose; also, a pen made from it.
  • noun See Goose flesh, above.
  • noun (Bot.) a composite plant (Achillea ptarmica), growing wild in the British islands.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Phalarope.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Gannet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various grazing waterfowl of the family Anatidae, bigger than a duck
  • noun The flesh of the goose used as food.
  • noun slang A stupid person
  • noun archaic A tailor's iron, heated in live coals or embers, used to press fabrics.
  • noun South Africa, slang, dated A young woman or girlfriend.
  • verb slang To sharply poke or pinch someone's buttocks. Derived from a goose's inclination to bite at a retreating intruder's hindquarters.
  • verb To stimulate, to spur.
  • verb slang To gently accelerate an automobile or machine, or give repeated small taps on the accelerator.
  • verb British slang Of private-hire taxi drivers, to pick up a passenger who has not pre-booked a cab. This is unauthorised under UK licensing conditions.

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

  • verb pinch in the buttocks
  • verb give a spurt of fuel to
  • noun a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
  • verb prod into action


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

[Middle English goos, from Old English gōs; see ghans- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English gōs, from Proto-Germanic *gans, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰans (compare West Frisian goes, North Frisian göis (also Fering-Öömrang dialect gus; Sölring dialect guus; Heligoland dialect gus), Dutch gans, German Gans, Danish gås, Swedish gås, Norwegian gås, Icelandic gæs, Irish , Latin ānser, Latvian zùoss, Russian гусь (gus'), Albanian gatë, Ancient Greek χήν (chén), Avestan 𐬰𐬁 (zā), Sanskrit हंस (haṃsa)).


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  • The Michaelmas goose is said to owe its origin to Queen Elizabeth's dining on one at the table of an English baronet on that day when she received tidings of the dispersion of the Spanish Armada, in commemoration of which she ordered the _goose_ to make its appearance every Michaelmas.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 14, No. 392, October 3, 1829 Various

  • December 5th, 2009 11: 57 am ET game on, sarah. i th ink the media ought to dig into this woman's past associations, her conflicts of interest as governor – everything. what's good for the goose is also good for the gander. one question i would like to have answered – why did it take her 5 or 6 colleges to get a degree in communications – only to be a 'C' average student?

    Palin defends Obama birth certificate inquiries 2009

  • While nearly perfect for upland game, they will happily retrieve out of water, but may be a bit on the small side for retrieving larger birds like Canadian Geese (especially, if the goose is alive and struggling).

    Who Wrote The Dogs Out? 2009

  • What's sauce for the goose is a light gravy for the gander

    Archive 2010-03-01 2010

  • While nearly perfect for upland game, they will happily retrieve out of water, but may be a bit on the small side for retrieving larger birds like Canadian Geese (especially, if the goose is alive and struggling).

    Who Wrote The Dogs Out? 2009

  • It doesn't matter if he wins NC because his goose is already cooked!

    Clinton gaining on Obama in North Carolina 2008

  • What good for the goose is also good for the gander.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » Let Some Airlines Die 2005

  • Milton had his foot to the floor, engaging what he called the goose gear.

    Middlesex Eugenides, Jeffery 2002

  • A piece of his mast being yet standing, he made what they call a goose-wing sail, that is, a little piece of the sail out, just to keep the boat steddy, and with this we got up as high as

    Notes and Queries, Number 44, August 31, 1850 Various

  • Can the alleged Hindoo phenomenon be identical with what we call goose flesh -- French frisson?

    Primitive Love and Love-Stories Henry Theophilus Finck 1890


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  • "When basic finger technique is well established, a few simple tunes are introduced... Once this is securely grasped, it is time for the pipes themselves. Instructors sometimes move beginners towards this stage via an instrument called a 'goose' which comprises a bag, blowpipe, and chanter only."

    —William Donaldson, Pipers: A Guide to the Players and Music of the Highland Bagpipe (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2005),11

    July 27, 2008

  • Irish saying:

    Nuair a chacann gé, cacann siad go léir - when one goose shits, they all shit.

    December 4, 2018