follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

gumshoe

[guhm-shoo] /ˈgʌmˌʃu/
noun
1.
Slang. a detective.
2.
a shoe made of gum elastic or India rubber; rubber overshoe.
3.
sneaker (def 1).
verb (used without object), gumshoed, gumshoeing.
4.
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
1860-1865
1860-65, Americanism; gum1 + shoe
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gumshoe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But theres nothing I can do; Im in with gumshoe worse than ever.

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

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • Why, honest, Reggie, even the gumshoe just eats out of his hand.

    Deering of Deal Latta Griswold
  • And consider the appropriateness of the figures of speech, as gumshoe would say.

    Deering of Deal Latta Griswold
  • Lets whoop her up for gumshoe, and avoid any daffy questions about being quizzled by the Head.

    Deering of Deal Latta Griswold
  • To heck with the gumshoe; bounds are off for the afternoon anyway.

    Deering of Deal Latta Griswold
  • I'm sure the gumshoe when it comes to pipin' a man off so's I got his photograph in my eye.

    Under Handicap Jackson Gregory
British Dictionary definitions for gumshoe

gumshoe

/ˈɡʌmˌʃuː/
noun
1.
a waterproof overshoe
2.
(US & Canadian) a rubber-soled shoe
3.
(US & Canadian, slang) a detective or one who moves about stealthily
4.
(US & Canadian, slang) a stealthy action or movement
verb -shoes, -shoeing, -shoed
5.
(intransitive) (US & 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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for gumshoe

gumshoe

noun

(Variations: gum boot or gumfoot or gumheel or gumshoe man) A police officer, esp a detective or plainclothes officer: It made him a good gumshoe

verb

  1. (also gumheel) To work as a police officer or detective: Still gumheeling?
  2. o walk a police beat: Police now ride prowl cars instead of gumshoeing around the block
  3. To walk quietly and stealthily

[1906+; fr gumshoe, ''rubber-soled shoe'']

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gumshoe

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gumshoe

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for gumshoe