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[goi] /gɔɪ/
noun, plural goyim, gois.


or goi

[goi] /gɔɪ/
noun, plural goyim
[goi-im] /ˈgɔɪ ɪm/ (Show IPA),
goys. Usually Disparaging.
a term used by a Jew to refer to someone who is not Jewish.
a term used by an observant Jew to refer to a Jew who is not religious or is ignorant of Judaism.
Origin of goy
1835-45; < Yiddish < Hebrew goi nation, non-Jew, Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion
Related forms
goyish, adjective
Usage note
Use of this term usually implies a contempt for non-Jews as being different from or even inferior to Jews: Only a goy would use such faulty logic. goy is rarely used in a neutral, descriptive way as a synonym for gentile, though that is its meaning in Yiddish and Hebrew. In another usually disparaging usage, goy is applied to a Jew who is not observant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for goyim
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It would make us undistinguishable from the goyim," answered Bensef.

    Rabbi and Priest

    Milton Goldsmith
  • Besides, these goyim were trying to undermine the True Religion.

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
  • The goyim refuse us equal rights because they know we're their superiors.

    Ghetto Tragedies Israel Zangwill
  • The laws of the goyim against the children of Israel must be abolished.

    The History of a Lie Herman Bernstein
  • I suppose that he dropped the synagogue and Yom kippur, and became a Reformirter, and his children in due time goyim.

    Legends of Florence Charles Godfrey Leland
  • When there was food they ate thereof; kosher food preferably, though the food of the goyim was not despised.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
  • They seemed to him more subversive of the order of Society than social settlements, dance-halls, or the Religion of the goyim.

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
  • Because the Jewish belief forbids the Jew to be sinful or violent, and to kill; just as their belief forbids the goyim.

  • He has some standing in the city, too, is on good terms with the goyim, and is generally a city alderman.

British Dictionary definitions for goyim


noun (pl) goyim (ˈɡɔɪɪm), goys
a Jewish word for a gentile
Derived Forms
goyish, adjective
Word Origin
from Yiddish, from Hebrew goi people
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 goyim

plural of goy (q.v.).



"gentile, non-Jew" (plural goyim), 1835, from Hebrew goy "people, nation;" in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew, also "gentile."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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