[ gouk, gohk ]

  1. British Dialect. cuckoo.

  2. a fool or simpleton.

Origin of gowk

1275–1325; Middle English goke<Old Norse gaukr; cognate with Old English gēac,German Gauch

Words Nearby gowk

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gowk in a sentence

  • In France the party fooled is called un poisson d'avril, 'an April fish'; in Scotland, a 'gowk', or cuckoo.

  • Ye hinnae as muckle o' the Sicht as wad let ye see when Leevie was makin' a gowk o' ye to gar ye hang oot signals for her auld jo.

    Doom Castle | Neil Munro
  • Just take yoursel' away, if ye please; for really ye're tormenting me—making a perfect gowk o' me, for neither end nor purpose.'

  • I would offer to do this myself, only I'm a great heavy gowk, and Haggis is no' much better.

    The Fiery Totem | Argyll Saxby
  • It was no more an essay than a twig is a tree, for the gowk had stuck in the middle of his second page.

    The Art of Public Speaking | Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

British Dictionary definitions for gowk


/ (ɡaʊk) /

nounScot and Northern English dialect
  1. a stupid person; fool

  2. a cuckoo

Origin of gowk

from Old Norse gaukr cuckoo; related to Old High German gouh

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