or goof·up

[ goof-uhp ]
/ ˈgufˌʌp /

noun Slang.

a person who habitually makes mistakes, spoils things, gets into trouble, etc., especially through carelessness or irresponsibility.
a mistake, blunder, malfunction, or the like.

Nearby words

  1. gooey,
  2. goof,
  3. goof on,
  4. goof up,
  5. goof-off,
  6. goofball,
  7. goofiness,
  8. goofus,
  9. goofy,
  10. goofy-footer

Origin of goof-up

First recorded in 1940–45; noun use of verb phrase goof up

Origin of goof

1915–20; apparently variant of obsolete goff dolt < Middle French goffe awkward, stupid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for goof-up


/ (ɡuːf) informal /


a foolish error or mistake
a stupid person


to bungle (something); botch
(intr; often foll by about or around) to fool (around); mess (about)
(tr) to dope with drugs
(intr often foll by off) US and Canadian to waste time; idle

Word Origin for goof

C20: probably from (dialect) goff simpleton, from Old French goffe clumsy, from Italian goffo, of obscure origin

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 goof-up
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper