• synonyms


[guhj-uh n]
See more synonyms for gudgeon on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small, European, freshwater fish, Gobio gobio, of the minnow family, having a threadlike barbel at each corner of the mouth, used as bait.
  2. any of certain related fishes.
  3. a person who is easily duped or cheated.
  4. a bait or allurement.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to dupe or cheat.
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Origin of gudgeon1

1375–1425; late Middle English gogion < Old French go(u)jon < Latin gōbiōn- (stem of gōbiō), variant of gobius. See goby


[guhj-uh n]
  1. Machinery. a trunnion.
  2. a socket for the pintle of a hinge.
  3. Nautical. a socket attached to the stern frame of a vessel, for holding the pintle of a rudder.
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Origin of gudgeon2

1350–1400; Middle English gudyon < Old French go(u)jon, perhaps ultimately < Late Latin gu(l)bia a chisel; see gouge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for gudgeon

Historical Examples

  • I checked her from stem to gudgeon and you lay over her like a circus tent.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • They were disappointed in finding you no gudgeon to be hooked by such raw methods.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • One more specimen of these baits for gudgeon, and we have done.

  • The teeth find the fat, the shark finds the gudgeon invariably.

    Nasby in Exile

    David R. Locke

  • "I am not ashamed to say that we were poor once," said Mr. Gudgeon, with a glow of pride.

    Round the Block

    John Bell Bouton

British Dictionary definitions for gudgeon


  1. a small slender European freshwater cyprinid fish, Gobio gobio, with a barbel on each side of the mouth: used as bait by anglers
  2. any of various other fishes, such as the goby
  3. bait or enticement
  4. slang a person who is easy to trick or cheat
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  1. (tr) slang to trick or cheat
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French gougon, probably from Latin gōbius; see goby


    1. a pivot at the end of a beam or axle
    2. the female or socket portion of a pinned hinge
  1. nautical one of two or more looplike sockets, fixed to the transom of a boat, into which the pintles of a rudder are fitted
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French goujon, perhaps from Late Latin gulbia chisel
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 gudgeon


small freshwater fish, early 15c., from Middle French goujon, from Old French gojon (14c.), from Latin gobionem (nominative gobio), alteration of gobius, from Greek kobios, a kind of fish, of unknown origin. The figurative sense of "a credulous person" (one who will "bite" at "bait") is from 1580s.

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"pivot on the end of a beam," c.1400, from Old French gojon "pin, peg, spike" (13c.), perhaps somehow an altered sense of gudgeon (n.1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper