[ guhmp-shuh n ]
/ ˈgʌmp ʃən /

noun Informal.

initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness: With his gumption he'll make a success of himself.
courage; spunk; guts: It takes gumption to quit a high-paying job.
common sense; shrewdness.

Origin of gumption

1710–20; orig. Scots
Related formsgump·tion·less, adjectivegump·tious, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gumption

British Dictionary definitions for gumption


/ (ˈɡʌmpʃən) /

noun informal

British common sense or resourcefulness
initiative or courageyou haven't the gumption to try

Word Origin for gumption

C18: originally Scottish, of unknown 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 gumption



1719, originally Scottish, "common sense, shrewdness," also "drive, initiative," possibly connected with Middle English gome "attention, heed," from Old Norse gaumr "heed, attention." Sense of "initiative" is first recorded 1812.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper