Definition of Goth in English:



  • 1A member of a Germanic people that invaded the Roman Empire from the east between the 3rd and 5th centuries. The eastern division, the Ostrogoths, founded a kingdom in Italy, while the Visigoths went on to found one in Spain.

    • ‘500-900 AD - Byzantines used mounted archers and then a cavalry charge against the Saracens, Vandals, Goths and Franks.’
    • ‘His rule as king of the Goths and Romans in Italy was recognized by the eastern emperor Anastasius, Zeno's successor.’
    • ‘What became of the eastern European Germanic Goths?’
    • ‘And the great lord who took them in might himself be a Goth or Burgundian.’
    • ‘Finally, in 538, he received a foreign command when he was sent to Italy against the Goths.’
    • ‘Beginning in the third century A.D., tribes of Goths, Huns, and Avars invaded the region.’
    • ‘Sicily has endured invasion after invasion - Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Moors, Normans, Swabians, French and Spaniards have all had a pop at the island.’
    • ‘They were granted this, but Roman officials exploited them and the Goths - that branch of them known as the Visigoths - rebelled under Emperor Valens.’
    • ‘Rome has just been sacked, the Goths are ravaging Italy and the western half of his empire, where Britain lies, has been supporting a pretender.’
    • ‘In short, in the course of one evening, Busbecq was able to learn enough about Crimean Gothic to convince future linguists that its speakers were not Germans but a distinct group of Goths related to the Visigoths.’
    • ‘After invasion and settlement by Goths, Visigoths, Turkmen, Arabs and others, it is almost impossible to see the Europeans and North Africans today as the direct heirs of those earlier people.’
    • ‘Could those Crimeans really have been the last Goths, continuing to speak Ostrogothic for more than a thousand years after their kingdom fell?’
    • ‘Scipio took it from the Carthaginians, and it remained Roman territory until A. D.412, when the Goths became masters of Spain.’
    • ‘My God, if we don't leap up to condemn it, the Dark Ages are here again and the Goths, Visigoths and Vandals will run riot.’
    • ‘In the third century B.C., Scythians were displaced by Sarmatians, who in turn were overrun by waves of Germanic Goths.’
    • ‘Boethius became head of all the government and court services under Theodoric, king of Italy and of the Goths.’
    • ‘By 540 it seemed that the Byzantines had won the war; but the administrators and tax collectors from the east soon provoked such discontent that the defeated Goths were able to launch another successful offensive.’
    • ‘The triple line of fortifications constructed on the land side in the fifth century had held off attacks by Goths, Persians, Avars, Bulgars, Russians, and especially Arabs.’
    • ‘Ironically, Ostia was to play a major part in the downfall of Rome when Alaric the Goth captured Ostia in AD 409 knowing that this would starve Rome of much needed food.’
    • ‘Soon after 500, he served the court of Theodoric, king of the Goths, who ruled Italy.’
  • 2[mass noun] A style of rock music derived from punk, typically with apocalyptic or mystical lyrics.

    • ‘The first, the original club plays extremely heavy metal/grindcore/goth music.’
    • ‘Roger is usually the band's roadie, as well as playing with Keighley-based Goth music group Skeletal Family.’
    • ‘It's country goth alternative hardcore punk metal and the intensity often masks the stunning playing going on.’
    • ‘Or listen to a little industrial music or some goth rock and try to feel better about yourself.’
    • ‘Their music was pretty good and their whole goth vibe certainly had everyone dressed in black swaying along.’
    • ‘Tristania combines rock, Goth, death metal, black metal, classical music and symphonic rock on February 18 at Manchester Academy.’
    • ‘I pulled out the headphones from my ipod and put them on and turned it on and listened to some hardcore Goth music.’
    • ‘Trotwood hopes the New Year will see a US tour to build on the band's popularity with a new generation of American goth fans.’
    • ‘The music is a mixture of doom, goth, and more heavy, with some original riffs here and there.’
    • ‘And other things like that have been happening, often when using punk or goth music and stuff related to that.’
    • ‘If you like your goth sweetly singing with weird 4AD style rumblings in the background then get this.’
    • ‘The music, a mixture of industrial rock, glam and goth, sadly isn't up to the props.’
    • ‘Bands like Joy Division and The Police moved off in different directions - and then there was Goth music and New Romanticism.’
    • ‘So this is what happens when you mix goth and emo with a major-label budget?’
    1. 2.1[count noun]A member of a subculture favouring black clothing, white and black make-up, and goth music.
      • ‘Although she always needed to wear the spectacles she had worn since childhood, the pretty dresses she had worn then were discarded in favour of football shirts, and then, aged 13, the black baggy clothes favoured by Goths.’
      • ‘The idea may be unique in Calgary, but Gross says there are several ministries for goths and punks in the U.S., and some places have entire churches devoted to them.’
      • ‘She may or may not be a chocolate lover, a goth, a punk, and less harmless than she was before.’
      • ‘Downtown was jammed with punks, new romantics, mods, goths, all seemingly involved in an Important Subversive Project.’
      • ‘She was dressed all in black, like a Goth, and wore black cut up socks on her arms.’
      • ‘Of course, there are a lot of different people who come to our gigs - for instance, metal heads, goths, skinheads, crustys, skaters - they have all been there.’
      • ‘The woman with her slick black hair and Goth make up got up from her seat.’
      • ‘Leah of course thinks its stupid to go out with the biggest Goth in the school but look who she's going out with.’
      • ‘They were followed by a woman in Goth clothes and pale makeup and even more men in black followed her.’
      • ‘You had your goths and art school kids, big on keyboards and eyeliner.’
      • ‘There is the predictable and formulaic group of teens - the geek, the Goth, the bimbo cheerleader, the sensible one and a couple of frat boys.’
      • ‘The skaters, punks, and goths of Calgary aren't into guns.’
      • ‘The cheap and tacky photo set clearly makes me appear as a fat, beardy goth with bloodshot eyes and at least 3 chins.’
      • ‘These were the goths of 25 years ago, reunited to see their British band who (most agree) started it all.’
      • ‘No, he was a true Goth complete with a black, finely tailored suit, shiny black shoes, and the strange black cloak, which he had given to me.’
      • ‘It is probably just my twisted sense of humour that finds the idea of thousands of goths being subjected to this record quite hilarious.’
      • ‘Take, for instance, the three alter egos of Mina's personality - the Goth, the Hippie, the Cowgirl.’
      • ‘Nobody looks twice at the Goth walking down the street, or the punk, everyone kind of fits in, where as in any town it is like you are different.’
      • ‘Paint your face white and join the Goths then.’
      • ‘Like the majority of them it was originally recorded by artists who may be slightly annoyed if you described them as goths.’


Old English Gota, superseded in Middle English by the adoption of late Latin Gothi (plural), from Greek Gothoi, from Gothic Gutthiuda the Gothic people.