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[gos-uh p] /ˈgɒs əp/
idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others:
the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.
light, familiar talk or writing.
Also, gossiper, gossipper. a person given to tattling or idle talk.
Chiefly British Dialect. a godparent.
Archaic. a friend, especially a woman.
verb (used without object), gossiped or gossipped, gossiping or gossipping.
to talk idly, especially about the affairs of others; go about tattling.
verb (used with object), gossiped or gossipped, gossiping or gossipping.
Chiefly British Dialect. to stand godparent to.
Archaic. to repeat like a gossip.
Origin of gossip
before 1050; Middle English gossib, godsib(be), Old English godsibb, orig. godparent, equivalent to god God + sibb related; see sib
Related forms
gossipingly, adverb
intergossip, verb, intergossiped or intergossipped, intergossiping.
ungossiping, adjective
1. small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. Scandal is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious: The town never lived down the election scandal. 3. chatterer, talker, gabbler, rumormonger. 6. chatter, prattle, prate, palaver. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gossipped
Historical Examples
  • His marriage, his movements, all were gossipped over from Maine to Georgia, the extreme points of the Union.

    Peter Parley's Own Story Samuel G. Goodrich
  • If I succeed in my object I shall consider that I have gossipped to some purpose.

    Flowers and Flower-Gardens David Lester Richardson
  • And Flora devoutly kissed her, then gossipped pleasantly about the other guests and the people in the neighborhood.

    Ancestors Gertrude Atherton
  • And what is more to the purpose, it spared him the pain and mortification of knowing that he was gossipped about.

    The Right to Privacy Samuel D. Warren
  • Warwick never rummaged work-baskets, gossipped, or paid compliments for want of something to do.

    Moods Louisa May Alcott
  • On the way they gossipped, and the maid expressed a belief that Mr. Lane was a fine young gentleman, but full of his goings-on.

    The Folly Of Eustace Robert S. Hichens
  • And they two and Gwen sat down upon the bank, and laughed and gossipped together.

    Star of Mercia Blanche Devereux
  • This ceremony performed, Mr. Hardie gossipped with him; and, after a detour or two, glided to his real anxiety.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • They gossipped and giggled like girls, put their arms around each other's necks.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion
  • In the forepart of the oven, on either hand, stood a variety of pots and pipkins, and gossipped together in their several tones.

    Yiddish Tales Various
British Dictionary definitions for gossipped


casual and idle chat: to have a gossip with a friend
a conversation involving malicious chatter or rumours about other people: a gossip about the neighbours
Also called gossipmonger. a person who habitually talks about others, esp maliciously
light easy communication: to write a letter full of gossip
(archaic) a close woman friend
verb -sips, -siping, -siped
(intransitive) often foll by about. to talk casually or maliciously (about other people)
Derived Forms
gossiper, noun
gossiping, noun, adjective
gossipingly, adverb
gossipy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English godsibb godparent, from god + sib; the term came to be applied to familiar friends, esp a woman's female friends at the birth of a child, hence a person, esp a woman, fond of light talk
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 gossipped



Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "any familiar acquaintance" (mid-14c.), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.


"to talk idly about the affairs of others," 1620s, from gossip (n.). Related: Gossiped; gossiping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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