[ gon-zoh ]
/ ˈgɒn zoʊ /


(of journalism, reportage, etc.) filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like.
crazy; eccentric.


eccentricity, weirdness, or craziness.

Origin of gonzo

1970–75, Americanism; apparently first used in the phrase Gonzo journalism by U.S. journalist Hunter S. Thompson (born 1939); perhaps < Italian: simpleton, one easily duped (of uncertain origin) or < Spanish ganso a lazy or dull person, literally, goose (< Germanic; see goose)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gonzo

British Dictionary definitions for gonzo


/ (ˈɡɒnzəʊ) /

adjective slang

wild or crazy
(of journalism) explicitly including the writer's feelings at the time of witnessing the events or undergoing the experiences written about

noun plural gonzos

a wild or crazy person

Word Origin for gonzo

C20: perhaps from Italian, literally: fool, or Spanish ganso idiot, bumpkin (literally: goose)
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 gonzo



1971, American English, in Hunter S. Thompson's phrase gonzo journalism. Thompson in 1972 said he got it from editor Bill Cardosa and explained it as "some Boston word for weird, bizarre." Probably from Italian gonzo "rude, sottish," perhaps from Spanish ganso and ultimately from the Germanic word for "goose."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper