• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to blunder; make an error, misjudgment, etc.
  2. to waste or kill time; evade work or responsibility (often followed by off or around): Exam week is not a time to goof off. We goofed around till train time.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to spoil or make a mess of (something); botch; bungle (often followed by up): You really goofed up the job.
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  1. a foolish or stupid person.
  2. a mistake or blunder, especially one due to carelessness.
  3. a source of fun or cause for amusement: We short-sheeted his bunk just for a goof.
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Verb Phrases
  1. goof on, Slang. to tease, ridicule, or mock; make fun of.
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Origin of goof

1915–20; apparently variant of obsolete goff dolt < Middle French goffe awkward, stupid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for goofed

flub, err, botch, miscalculate, blunder, snarl, slip, bungle

Examples from the Web for goofed

Contemporary Examples of goofed

Historical Examples of goofed

  • Everything had gone perfectly; not even Valkanhayn's gang had goofed.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • That must have been a build-up, but Ben goofed his cue to move in on Sco and me for a close.

    The Real Hard Sell

    William W Stuart

  • Let them think they goofed with the shuttles and hit you and Chris.

    Badge of Infamy

    Lester del Rey

  • "We—uh—realize we goofed yesterday on that beach party," Tom said sheepishly.

  • "Somebody must have goofed bad on the Far Side, for it to miss orbit like that," Ramos grated.

    The Planet Strappers

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

British Dictionary definitions for goofed


  1. a foolish error or mistake
  2. a stupid person
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  1. to bungle (something); botch
  2. (intr; often foll by about or around) to fool (around); mess (about)
  3. (tr) to dope with drugs
  4. (intr often foll by off) US and Canadian to waste time; idle
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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 goofed



"waste time," 1932; "make a mistake," 1941, from goof (n.). Goof off "loaf" is also from 1941. Related: Goofed; goofing.

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1916, American English, "stupid person," perhaps a variant of English dialect goff "foolish clown" (1869), from 16c. goffe, probably from Middle French goffe "awkward, stupid," of uncertain origin. Or English goffe may be from Middle English goffen "speak in a frivolous manner," possibly from Old English gegaf "buffoonery," and gaffetung "scolding." Sense of "a blunder" is c.1954, probably influenced by gaffe.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper