[ goth ]
/ gɒθ /


one of a Teutonic people who in the 3rd to 5th centuries invaded and settled in parts of the Roman Empire.
a person of no refinement; barbarian.
  1. a genre of rock music that first became popular in the 1980s and is characterized by morbid themes and melodies.
  2. a person who is part of a subculture favoring this style of music and a dark and morbid aesthetic:goths dressed in black shirts and pants.

Origin of Goth

before 900; Middle English Gothe < Late Latin Gothī (plural); replacing Old English Gotan (plural) (Gota, singular); cognate with Gothic Gut- (in Gut-thiuda Goth-people)


or Goth, goth. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for goth

British Dictionary definitions for goth


/ (ɡɒθ) /


a member of an East Germanic people from Scandinavia who settled south of the Baltic early in the first millennium ad . They moved on to the Ukrainian steppes and raided and later invaded many parts of the Roman Empire from the 3rd to the 5th centurySee also Ostrogoth, Visigoth
a rude or barbaric person
(sometimes not capital) an aficionado of Goth music and fashion


Also: Gothic (sometimes not capital)
  1. (of music) in a style of guitar-based rock with some similarities to heavy metal and punk and usually characterized by depressing or mournful lyrics
  2. (of fashion) characterized by black clothes and heavy make-up, often creating a ghostly appearance

Word Origin for Goth

C14: from Late Latin (plural) Gothī from Greek Gothoi

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 goth



Old English Gota (plural Gotan) "a Goth" (see Gothic). In 19c., in reference to living persons, it meant "a Gothicist" (1812), "an admirer of the Gothic style, especially in architecture." Modern use as an adjective in reference to a subculture style is from 1986, short for Gothic.

By 1982, when the legendary Batcave club opened in London, the music press had begun to use the term gothic rock to describe the music and fandom around which a new postpunk subculture was forming. [Lauren M.E. Goodlad & Michael Bibby, "Goth: Undead Subculture," 2007]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper