[ guhm-shoo ]
/ ˈgʌmˌʃu /


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

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

  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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gumshoe

British Dictionary definitions for gumshoe


/ (ˈɡʌmˌʃuː) /


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