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[gos-uh p] /ˈgɒs əp/
idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others:
the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.
light, familiar talk or writing.
Also, gossiper, gossipper. a person given to tattling or idle talk.
Chiefly British Dialect. a godparent.
Archaic. a friend, especially a woman.
verb (used without object), gossiped or gossipped, gossiping or gossipping.
to talk idly, especially about the affairs of others; go about tattling.
verb (used with object), gossiped or gossipped, gossiping or gossipping.
Chiefly British Dialect. to stand godparent to.
Archaic. to repeat like a gossip.
Origin of gossip
before 1050; Middle English gossib, godsib(be), Old English godsibb, orig. godparent, equivalent to god God + sibb related; see sib
Related forms
gossipingly, adverb
intergossip, verb, intergossiped or intergossipped, intergossiping.
ungossiping, adjective
1. small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. Scandal is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious: The town never lived down the election scandal. 3. chatterer, talker, gabbler, rumormonger. 6. chatter, prattle, prate, palaver. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for gossiped
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So he had come and gone as he pleased, and poked his nose into everybody's business, and gossiped with everybody.

    Mrs. Peter Rabbit Thornton W. Burgess
  • None the less he gossiped, for, as they say on the river, "Even the wise oochiri is a chatterer."

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • If any one entered the tavern, the people with whom he gossiped warned him, and he slowly and reluctantly returned.

    Sons of the Soil Honore de Balzac
  • Here they sat and sang, gossiped, and worked their endless embroidery.

    One Snowy Night Emily Sarah Holt
  • At Elstow, as we know, they gossiped in the fields and highways; and if nuns were sometimes frivolous, so were monks.

  • Carl and most of the other substitutes had to wait, and most of them gossiped of the lecture.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • Because the flappers had been gossiped about en masse, the whole reason for not being gossiped about had ceased.

    Nonsenseorship G. G. Putnam and Others
  • The woman who had shown Lida to her room had gossiped a bit.

  • Carmen had no fear that she would be gossiped about and misunderstood.

    The Port of Adventure Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for gossiped


casual and idle chat: to have a gossip with a friend
a conversation involving malicious chatter or rumours about other people: a gossip about the neighbours
Also called gossipmonger. a person who habitually talks about others, esp maliciously
light easy communication: to write a letter full of gossip
(archaic) a close woman friend
verb -sips, -siping, -siped
(intransitive) often foll by about. to talk casually or maliciously (about other people)
Derived Forms
gossiper, noun
gossiping, noun, adjective
gossipingly, adverb
gossipy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English godsibb godparent, from god + sib; the term came to be applied to familiar friends, esp a woman's female friends at the birth of a child, hence a person, esp a woman, fond of light talk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gossiped



Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "any familiar acquaintance" (mid-14c.), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.


"to talk idly about the affairs of others," 1620s, from gossip (n.). Related: Gossiped; gossiping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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