[ goom-bah ]

  1. a companion or associate, especially an older person who mentors or advises; a godfather.

  2. a member of a criminal organization.

Origin of goombah

First recorded in 1965–70; perhaps from Neapolitan dialect cumbà, cumpà, gumbà “friend,” the form used in direct address of the noun cumbàr, cumpàr, gumbàr “respected older man,” formerly “godfather,” from Italian compàre “godfather, friend, accomplice,” from Medieval Latin compater “godfather”

Words Nearby goombah Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023