gumshoe

[guhm-shoo]

noun

Slang. a detective.
a shoe made of gum elastic or India rubber; rubber overshoe.

verb (used without object), gum·shoed, gum·shoe·ing.

Slang.
  1. to work as a detective.
  2. to go softly, as if wearing rubber shoes; move or act snoopily or stealthily.

Origin of gumshoe

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65; gum1 + shoe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for gumshoe

sleuth, cop, sneaker, investigator, tec, flatfoot, dick

Examples from the Web for gumshoe

Contemporary Examples of gumshoe

Historical Examples of gumshoe

  • Mr. Pepper don't like the idea, though, of doin' the gumshoe sneak.

    Torchy

    Sewell Ford

  • And consider the appropriateness of the figures of speech, as Gumshoe would say.

    Deering of Deal

    Latta Griswold

  • To heck with the Gumshoe; bounds are off for the afternoon anyway.

    Deering of Deal

    Latta Griswold

  • One for the Gumshoe, said Tony blithely, as they turned onto the campus.

    Deering of Deal

    Latta Griswold

  • But theres nothing I can do; Im in with Gumshoe worse than ever.

    Deering of Deal

    Latta Griswold


British Dictionary definitions for gumshoe

gumshoe

noun

a waterproof overshoe
US and Canadian a rubber-soled shoe
US and Canadian slang a detective or one who moves about stealthily
US and Canadian slang a stealthy action or movement

verb -shoes, -shoeing or -shoed

(intr) US and Canadian slang to act stealthily
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 gumshoe
n.

"plainclothes detective," 1906, from the rubber-soled shoes they wore (which were so called from 1863); from gum (n.1) + shoe (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper