verb (used with object), gouged, goug·ing.

verb (used without object), gouged, goug·ing.

to engage in swindling, overcharging, or the like: I bought my clothes there before they began gouging.

Origin of gouge

1300–50; Middle English < French < Late Latin gu(l)bia; compare Old Provençal goja, Spanish gubia; perhaps < Celtic; compare Old Irish gulba sting, Welsh gylf beak, Cornish gilb borer
Related formsgoug·er, nounun·gouged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gouge

Contemporary Examples of gouge

Historical Examples of gouge

  • Gouge out that fellow's eye, the one that's got you by the shoulder, master.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • You needn't try to gouge me out o' my rights because you're half-a-head taller.

  • Fig. 31 is a detail of a kind of gouge work which you must all know very well.


    George Jack

  • The gouge is a form of chisel, the blade of which is concave, and hence the edge curved.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • A finisher can always alter the thickness of a gouge with emery paper.

British Dictionary definitions for gouge


verb (mainly tr)

(usually foll by out) to scoop or force (something) out of its position, esp with the fingers or a pointed instrument
(sometimes foll by out) to cut (a hole or groove) in (something) with a sharp instrument or tool
US and Canadian informal to extort from
(also intr) Australian to dig for (opal)


a type of chisel with a blade that has a concavo-convex section
a mark or groove made with, or as if with, a gouge
geology a fine deposit of rock fragments, esp clay, occurring between the walls of a fault or mineral vein
US and Canadian informal extortion; swindling

Word Origin for gouge

C15: from French, from Late Latin gulbia a chisel, of Celtic 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 gouge

mid-14c., "chisel with a concave blade," from Old French gouge, from Late Latin gubia, alteration of gulbia "hollow beveled chisel," probably from Gaulish (cf. Old Irish gulban "prick, prickle," Welsh gylfin "beak").


1560s, "to cut with a gouge," from gouge (n.). Meaning "to force out with a gouge" (especially of the eyes, in fighting) attested by 1800. Meaning "swindle" is American English colloquial from 1826 (implied in plural noun gougers). Related: Gouged; gouging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for gouge




A strong curved chisel used in bone surgery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.