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gossip

[gos-uhp]
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noun
  1. idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others: the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.
  2. light, familiar talk or writing.
  3. Also gos·sip·er, gos·sip·per. a person given to tattling or idle talk.
  4. Chiefly British Dialect. a godparent.
  5. Archaic. a friend, especially a woman.
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verb (used without object), gos·siped or gos·sipped, gos·sip·ing or gos·sip·ping.
  1. to talk idly, especially about the affairs of others; go about tattling.
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verb (used with object), gos·siped or gos·sipped, gos·sip·ing or gos·sip·ping.
  1. Chiefly British Dialect. to stand godparent to.
  2. Archaic. to repeat like a gossip.
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Origin of gossip

before 1050; Middle English gossib, godsib(be), Old English godsibb, orig. godparent, equivalent to god God + sibb related; see sib
Related formsgos·sip·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·gos·sip, verb, in·ter·gos·siped or in·ter·gos·sipped, in·ter·gos·sip·ing.un·gos·sip·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. Scandal is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious: The town never lived down the election scandal. 3. chatterer, talker, gabbler, rumormonger. 6. chatter, prattle, prate, palaver.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

tattletalebusybodyquidnuncyenta

Examples from the Web for gossiper

Historical Examples

  • Burnet was a 'gossiper, slanderer, and notorious falsifier of facts.'

    Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.)

    Leslie Stephen

  • Off the stage he was a snob by affiliation and a gossiper by inclination.

    A Pirate of Parts

    Richard Neville

  • Nothing worse can happen to the couple than to be discovered by this gossiper.

  • The meal did not last long, for the aunt, who was a gossiper, was only serving delicatessen that evening.

    Nobody's Boy

    Hector Malot

  • But in place of that he is only a gossiper, writing merely for the entertainment of a private circle.


British Dictionary definitions for gossiper

gossip1

noun
  1. casual and idle chatto have a gossip with a friend
  2. a conversation involving malicious chatter or rumours about other peoplea gossip about the neighbours
  3. Also called: gossipmonger a person who habitually talks about others, esp maliciously
  4. light easy communicationto write a letter full of gossip
  5. archaic a close woman friend
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verb -sips, -siping or -siped
  1. (intr often foll by about) to talk casually or maliciously (about other people)
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Derived Formsgossiper, noungossiping, noun, adjectivegossipingly, adverbgossipy, adjective

Word Origin

Old English godsibb godparent, from god + sib; the term came to be applied to familiar friends, esp a woman's female friends at the birth of a child, hence a person, esp a woman, fond of light talk
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 gossiper

gossip

v.

"to talk idly about the affairs of others," 1620s, from gossip (n.). Related: Gossiped; gossiping.

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gossip

n.

Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "any familiar acquaintance" (mid-14c.), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper