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gumshoe

[ guhm-shoo ]
/ ˈgʌmˌʃu /
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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR gumshoe ON THESAURUS.COM

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.

RELATED WORDS

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

Nearby words

gummy shark, gump, gumption, gumri, gumshield, gumshoe, gumsucker, gumtree, gumweed, gumwood, gun

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

Examples from the Web for gumshoe

British Dictionary definitions for gumshoe

gumshoe

/ (ˈɡʌmˌʃuː) /

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

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