[ gur-tuh, German gœ-tuh ]

  1. Jo·hann Wolf·gang von [yoh-hahn vawlf-gahng fuhn], /ˈyoʊ hɑn ˈvɔlf gɑŋ fən/, 1749–1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher.

Other words from Goethe

  • Goe·the·an, Goe·thi·an [gur-tee-uhn, gœ-], /ˈgɜr ti ən, ˈgœ-/, adjective

Words Nearby Goethe

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Goethe in a sentence

  • But does this translate into a reason to ignore the giants of the German canon: Goethe, Mann, Brecht?

    What Should Be Your Favorite Books? | Benjamin Lytal | February 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Architecture is frozen music, Goethe wrote, and to my mind cities are, too.

    'Heroic Old Warhorse' | Jan Morris | February 18, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Goethe recalled later that he had been first asked his age and been complimented that, at 60, he was “well preserved.”

    The Best of Brit Lit | Peter Stothard | June 21, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • It seemed strange to me to be passing the room of my beloved Goethe, with our equally beloved Liszt!

  • Goethe's poem is more interesting because of the greater solidity of the characters, and because of the more closely knitted plot.

    Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
  • And Mazzini found in his verse a great social lesson, such as Goethe 327 never tried to teach.

    The Life of Mazzini | Bolton King
  • "A great man can be recognized (p. 173) only by his peers," is one of Goethe's own sentences.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte | William Milligan Sloane
  • Meanwhile he, Lancaster, had his Euripides and Goethe and whatever else he liked, or knew where to borrow it.

    Security | Poul William Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for Goethe


/ (German ˈɡøːtə) /

  1. Johann Wolfgang von (joˈhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn). 1749–1832, German poet, novelist, and dramatist, who settled in Weimar in 1775. His early works of the Sturm und Drang period include the play Götz von Berlichingen (1773) and the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). After a journey to Italy (1786–88) his writings, such as the epic play Iphigenie auf Tauris (1787) and the epic idyll Hermann und Dorothea (1797), showed the influence of classicism. Other works include the Wilhelm Meister novels (1796–1829) and his greatest masterpiece Faust (1808; 1832)

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