[gog-uh l]
See more synonyms for goggle on Thesaurus.com
  1. goggles,
    1. large spectacles equipped with special lenses, protective rims, etc., to prevent injury to the eyes from strong wind, flying objects, blinding light, etc.
    2. spectacles designed for a special purpose, as night-vision or stereoscopic goggles.
    3. Informal.glasses, or eyeglasses: I can't see a thing without my goggles.
  2. a bulging or wide-open look of the eyes; stare.
verb (used without object), gog·gled, gog·gling.
  1. to stare with bulging or wide-open eyes.
  2. (of the eyes) to bulge and be wide open in a stare.
  3. to roll the eyes.
  4. (of the eyes) to roll.
  5. Informal. to spearfish.
verb (used with object), gog·gled, gog·gling.
  1. to roll (the eyes).
  1. (of the eyes) rolling, bulging, or staring.

Origin of goggle

1350–1400; Middle English gogelen to look aside; cf. agog
Related formsun·gog·gled, adjective
Can be confusedgoggle Google googol

Word story

Try searching the Internet for goggle and you will most likely be shown search results for Google. Etymologists won’t be much more help, as they are as stumped by goggle’s origins as Google is by its spelling. What we do know about it is that it first shows up in the late 14th century, in the form of gogelen, a Middle English word with the meanings “to turn the eyes from one side to the other, to look sideways, squint,” and developed from there.
The first senses of goggle dealt with the movement of the eyes—quite literally the rolling or bulging of eyes. It was not until the early 18th century that goggle took on meanings that extended beyond the eyeball (though not very far beyond). In the early 1700s, speakers of English used the plural goggles to refer to large, protective eye coverings. As the use of cars became more widespread in the early 20th century, the demand for driving goggles increased. Though only vintage car enthusiasts have a need for those today, safety goggles can commonly be found in any high school chemistry class that follows standard safety codes.
While those types of goggles are designed to protect, a new kind of goggles, which do nothing to protect the wearer— beer goggles —surfaced in English in the late 1980s. This slang term for the metaphorical goggles that extremely drunk people “wear,” with the effect of diminishing their judgment, is still widely used today.
Related Quotations
  • "Then came a volley of expletives in an unknown tongue, and in a voice so deep and harsh that the hair of the three heads bristled, and three pairs of eyes goggled with fright."
    -Charles M. Skinner The Devil’s Bridge: a Philippine Legend McBride’s Magazine, Volume 64 (1899)
  • "Hari goggled his eyes, unrattled by my taunting."
    -Philip Palmer Version 43 (2010)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for goggles

Contemporary Examples of goggles

Historical Examples of goggles

  • He pushed up his goggles and gazed at her, absolutely bewildered.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • Jeter began nonchalantly to slip off his helmet and goggles.

  • Passed me wi' her face all smothered up in a veil, goggles an' all.

  • "Very," coolly agreed Lestrange, rising and removing his goggles.

    The Flying Mercury

    Eleanor M. Ingram

  • He allowed the young skeptic to try the goggles on and read by the light of the lamp.


    William Morrison

British Dictionary definitions for goggles


  1. (intr) to stare stupidly or fixedly, as in astonishment
  2. to cause (the eyes) to roll or bulge or (of the eyes) to roll or bulge
  1. a fixed or bulging stare
  2. (plural) spectacles, often of coloured glass or covered with gauze: used to protect the eyes
Derived Formsgoggly, adjective

Word Origin for goggle

C14: from gogelen to look aside, of uncertain origin; see agog
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

Word Origin and History for goggles

"spectacles, protective eyeglasses," 1715; see goggle.



1530s, from Middle English gogelen "to roll (the eyes) about" (late 14c.), influenced by Middle English gogel-eyed "squint-eyed, one-eyed" (late 14c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow imitative. As a surname (Robert le Gogel) attested from c.1300. Related: Goggled; goggling. As a noun, 1650s, "goggling look;" earlier "person who goggles" (1610s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper