[ goi ]

noun,plural goy·im [goi-im], /ˈgɔɪ ɪm/, goys.Sometimes 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

First recorded in 1835–45; from Yiddish, from Hebrew goi “nation, non-Jew, Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion”
  • Sometimes goi .

usage note For goy

In Yiddish and Hebrew, goy is a neutral, descriptive term meaning gentile. In English, it may sometimes be used disparagingly or contemptuously. The word is also considered disparaging when it is applied to a Jew who is not observant.

Other words from goy

  • goy·ish, adjective

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

How to use goy in a sentence

  • He was universally liked, and continually had his leg pulled by the Frenchmen in de Goys' room, where he and Lustianseff lived.

    The Escaping Club | A. J. Evans
  • We soon found that we needed more labor, and two more Frenchmen, de Goys being one of them, joined our working party.

    The Escaping Club | A. J. Evans
  • Gaskell and de Goys played baccarat to decide which team should be the next, and we won.

    The Escaping Club | A. J. Evans
  • Great preparations were made for escaping on the way, and Gaskell and de Goys seized the opportunity to try on the basket trick.

    The Escaping Club | A. J. Evans
  • So long goys the pott to the water, at last comys it home broken!

British Dictionary definitions for goy


/ (ɡɔɪ) /

nounplural goyim (ˈɡɔɪɪm) or goys
  1. a Jewish word for a gentile

Origin of goy

from Yiddish, from Hebrew goi people

Derived forms of goy

  • goyish, adjective

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