or goi

noun, plural goy·im [goi-im] /ˈgɔɪ ɪm/, goys. Usually Disparaging.
  1. a term used by a Jew to refer to someone who is not Jewish.
  2. a term used by an observant Jew to refer to a Jew who is not religious or is ignorant of Judaism.

Origin of goy

1835–45; < Yiddish < Hebrew goi nation, non-Jew, Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion
Related formsgoy·ish, adjective

Usage note

Use of this term usually implies a contempt for non-Jews as being different from or even inferior to Jews: Only a goy would use such faulty logic. goy is rarely used in a neutral, descriptive way as a synonym for gentile , though that is its meaning in Yiddish and Hebrew. In another usually disparaging usage, goy is applied to a Jew who is not observant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for goyim

Contemporary Examples of goyim

  • His approval rating among Jews, steady in the low 60s, is about 15 percent higher than it is with the goyim.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Silent Jewish Majority

    Eric Alterman

    August 22, 2010

Historical Examples of goyim

  • "It would make us undistinguishable from the goyim," answered Bensef.

    Rabbi and Priest

    Milton Goldsmith

  • Besides, these Goyim were trying to undermine the True Religion.

    Comrade Yetta

    Albert Edwards

  • The Goyim refuse us equal rights because they know we're their superiors.

    Ghetto Tragedies

    Israel Zangwill

  • The laws of the goyim against the children of Israel must be abolished.

    The History of a Lie

    Herman Bernstein

  • I suppose that he dropped the synagogue and Yom kippur, and became a Reformirter, and his children in due time Goyim.

    Legends of Florence

    Charles Godfrey Leland

British Dictionary definitions for goyim


noun plural goyim (ˈɡɔɪɪm) or goys
  1. a Jewish word for a gentile
Derived Formsgoyish, adjective

Word Origin for goy

from Yiddish, from Hebrew goi people
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 goyim

plural of goy (q.v.).



"gentile, non-Jew" (plural goyim), 1835, from Hebrew goy "people, nation;" in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew, also "gentile."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper