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[goof] /guf/
verb (used without object)
to blunder; make an error, misjudgment, etc.
to waste or kill time; evade work or responsibility (often followed by off or around):
Exam week is not a time to goof off. We goofed around till train time.
verb (used with object)
to spoil or make a mess of (something); botch; bungle (often followed by up):
You really goofed up the job.
a foolish or stupid person.
a mistake or blunder, especially one due to carelessness.
a source of fun or cause for amusement:
We short-sheeted his bunk just for a goof.
Verb phrases
goof on, Slang. to tease, ridicule, or mock; make fun of.
1915-20; apparently variant of obsolete goff dolt < Middle French goffe awkward, stupid Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for goof
  • Even with frequent breaks to goof off, they're finished by five in the afternoon.
  • It's not being a goof-off, or refusing to take something seriously.
British Dictionary definitions for goof


a foolish error or mistake
a stupid person
to bungle (something); botch
(intransitive; often foll by about or around) to fool (around); mess (about)
(transitive) to dope with drugs
(US & Canadian) (intransitive) often foll by off. to waste time; idle
Word Origin
C20: probably from (dialect) goff simpleton, from Old French goffe clumsy, from Italian goffo, of obscure 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
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Word Origin and History for goof
1916, Amer.Eng., "stupid person," perhaps a variant of Eng. dial. goff "foolish clown" (1869), from 16c. goffe, probably from M.Fr. goffe "awkward, stupid," of uncertain origin. Or Eng. goffe may be from M.E. goffen "speak in a frivolous manner," possibly from O.E. gegaf "buffoonery," and gaffetung "scolding." Sense of "a blunder" is c.1954, probably infl. by gaffe. The verbal meaning "waste time" is 1932; the verb meaning "make a mistake" is from 1941. Goof off "loaf" is also from 1941. Adj. goofy is attested from 1921. The Disney character of that name began life as Dippy Dawg c.1929. Goofball "narcotic" is from 1938; as an intensive of goof, it dates from 1959.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for goof


  1. A stupid person; boob, klutz, sap: two goofs can't agree on how many orgasms they should have/ High school girls now talk of the ''goofs we go with'' (1916+)
  2. An insane person; mental case: He couldn't have acted more like a goof (1940s+)
  3. One's cellmate (1930s+ Prison)
  4. A blunder; bad mistake; boo-boo: They covered their goof quite well (1950s+ Jive talk)
  1. : You goofed again; it's a one-way street (1941+)
  2. To pass one's time idly and pleasantly; goof off: In Sarajevo, members of a student volunteer brigade goofed and joked as they worked (1932+)
  3. goof around (1940s+)
  4. To fool; kid: Don't goof your grandpa (1940s+)

[fr British dialect goof, goff, ''fool'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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