Definition of goof in English:

goof

noun

North American
informal
  • 1A mistake.

    ‘one of the most embarrassing goofs of his tenure’
    • ‘We can see them all too clearly in other people: workout mistakes, diet goofs, social gaffes.’
    • ‘One can only presume, therefore, that all the tactical blunders and propaganda goofs which have characterised events so far were all part of this cunning plan to begin with.’
    • ‘If you like to pick apart technical flaws and continuity goofs, then you should have a field day with Twister.’
    • ‘A cute, but short, clip of goofs and gaffes from the season.’
    • ‘He is disarmingly straightforward about his goofs and gaffes, of which he had plenty during his first go-round.’
    • ‘These, however, come under the heading of COLEMANBALLS, the long-running Private Eye column which records the goofs of sports commentators.’
    • ‘So, we don't know why they made these goofs but there were some.’
    • ‘But that's because we have a massive and extremely professional military and that gives us the luxury of being able to recover from some early goofs.’
    • ‘With respect to the film itself, there are many who take pride in highlighting the several goofs and gaffes on display.’
    • ‘Laugh at your own goofs (everyone makes them) and, instead, revel in your individuality.’
    • ‘We should assume that things we build will wear out faster than we hope, and that we will make goofs.’
    • ‘More conventional bonuses include good making-of documentaries, two commentaries and amusing technical goofs.’
    • ‘Also, I'm absolutely sure I spotted an enormous goof.’
    • ‘If you enjoy noticing these kinds of narrative goofs, you'll really enjoy it when characters start getting literally sucked into space.’
    • ‘Despite the goof, the site raked in $200,000 overnight.’
    • ‘Besides the age goofs, the article was the best I've ever read!’
    • ‘I was asked if I could give some details on the ‘radio tour’ tomorrow - so here, cut and pasted and retyped from a Word Doc with tables (so any goofs in this are probably mine) are the details.’
    • ‘As soon as Chick was confronted with her campaign's clerical goof, she announced that she was embarrassed by the mistakes and intended to pay the full $4,500 from her own pocket.’
    • ‘Imperfect as we know we are, we especially value the hand-fitted custom gun or the hand-stitched leather holster because we see the tiny goofs, the nearly imperceptible errors.’
    • ‘Hunters still make mistakes, but not many, and their goofs almost never are caused by booze.’
    error, mistake, miscalculation, fallacy, slip, oversight, fault, blunder, gaffe, defect, flaw
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  • 2A foolish or stupid person.

    • ‘Ten thousand reckless little goofs get injured in our country's playground parks each year according to the Ontario-based Canadian Standards Association.’
    • ‘The whole bus was looking at me, the eternal goof, rather red faced and with an uncontainable smile breaching my face from ear to ear.’
    • ‘Also taking a trip - a Boat Trip, that is - are Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Saturday Night Live's Horatio Sanz, playing a couple of goofs who book passage on a cruise, expecting to score with all sorts of ladies.’
    • ‘Yet today, dressed in a navy suit with a patterned silk scarf wrapped around his neck, he no longer looks the goof.’
    • ‘As much as it pains me to admit it, I'm a bit of a goof when it comes to being co-ordinated enough for anything more complicated than a walk in the park.’
    • ‘People too often get a job and transform from humans into robots, acting like oppressive goofs, under the comfy rationalization that they have to perform such tasks because they need the money.’
    • ‘My impression is that he thinks I am somewhat of a goof with the kids, due to the fact that I tend to throw myself into their activities.’
    • ‘But she's more likely to describe herself as a goof.’
    • ‘At best, the show plays out like a character study of two opposing personalities, one of whom wears the iciness of an assassin on his sleeve, while the other is a loveable goof.’
    • ‘During my class play, my friends and I were dancing like goofs backstage.’
    • ‘Unlike Tomb Raider, Atlantis has a lead character, a likable goof named Milo who works in the basement of a museum around 1900.’
    • ‘Then he called and lo and behold, I ended up looking like a goof.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
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verb

[NO OBJECT]North American
informal
  • 1Behave in a silly way or playful way.

    ‘they started goofing around in front of the cameras’
    • ‘He injured himself goofing around for the TV cameras at practice.’
    • ‘The weather was glorious, I should have been working, but was out goofing around.’
    • ‘There's no goofing around or joking, there's nothing really silly or funny about it.’
    • ‘The last shows some of the men goofing around in the snow.’
    • ‘I'm finding it's the quiet moments that I'm remembering, the snuggling and cuddling and teasing and goofing around.’
    • ‘She obeyed giddily and the trio spent another half hour goofing around on the ice.’
    • ‘The Empire of Dreams documentary sometimes lapses charmingly into home-video compilation, showing the main characters goofing and corpsing.’
    • ‘The flight attendants are two young guys and two a bit older girls who are absolutely silly and having fun playing and goofing around with one another.’
    • ‘This morning I was goofing around with Jackson before he went to school, wrestling with him and we both landed on the rug in an odd position that gave us a view of the bookcase in the livingroom from a new angle.’
    • ‘We picked up whatever was closest to us, and with the guys goofing around, loaded the undergarments into our bags.’
    • ‘I avoided Brenden as much as possible, spending most of my time goofing around with Duncan.’
    • ‘On Saturday morning they were gathered around the TV, half watching it, half goofing around.’
    • ‘Not only that (as if that weren't enough) it will be my last day in five months of hanging out with my friends and goofing around with my brother.’
    • ‘They spent so much time goofing around that their parents feared for their future.’
    • ‘It's not like most hidden tracks, which are often bad dubs of the artists goofing around in the studio, no, this hidden track is a full-fledged, well-produced song.’
    • ‘Ian had thought everything was back to normal when they had started goofing around in the dining room, but now he was confused that Diana and Jack were still sitting at opposite sides of the courtyard.’
    • ‘I'd spent the early evening goofing around with a bottle of Mad Dog, then decided to take a little nap before shuffling off to the liquor store to stock up for the night.’
    • ‘They all had a very relaxed enjoyment about them, cracking jokes, goofing through a Rolling Stones tune (and then turning it into Stanley Clarke's School Days just for grins).’
    • ‘The movie's full of gibberish, scenes replayed in different languages, non-sequiturs and a lot of high-minded goofing around.’
    • ‘He was very unassuming and friendly and not above goofing around himself.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, at the far end of the pitch, Roberto Carlos is goofing around, practising scissor-kicks for a Brazilian television crew.’
    • ‘I created this design by hacking, modifying, and otherwise goofing around with his templates.’
    • ‘Beth had once commented on this when they were goofing around with her new digital camera and they had just snapped a picture of Nikki looking over her shoulder and wearing a huge grin that lit up her face.’
    • ‘We see them rehearsing, talking, goofing around, obsessing over coffee.’
    • ‘The last show was just us goofing around being ourselves.’
    • ‘‘I was goofing around in the hallway,’ Jess lied and sat down in the back.’
    • ‘Even when we just got together to goof around he'd put on make-up and a dress just to shock everyone.’
    • ‘They are perfect for the job, it's not like they're goofing around or anything.’
    • ‘My brother and I spent hours playing this one, even goofing around with the Jam Session option.’
    • ‘‘I used to make a point, even when I was practising, never to goof around when I got to this hole,’ he says.’
    • ‘Apparently Arthur and McCrea gave Stevens the idea for this sequence when they were goofing around on the set between takes, and it's a perfect example of how the film excels at intimate yet seemingly simple scenes.’
    • ‘We talked until the power went out mysteriously around midnight, then lit candles and stayed a little longer goofing around with some musical instruments they had behind the counter.’
    • ‘He was my assistant coach and just goofing around.’
    • ‘When they are off work they want to joke and goof around and play cards.’
    • ‘We see snatches of song development, but not much; there's a lot more jamming on oldies and goofing around that you would expect in a movie about making an album.’
    • ‘We had spent the day swimming and goofing around and when we sat down for a picnic we had started talking about everything the way best friends do.’
    • ‘That's fine, I'll have a good time goofing around with Marco and Tim, I thought, and just about forgot about Scott and his wiggly dance.’
    • ‘We hung around, goofed around and laughed till our stomachs threatened to split.’
    • ‘Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks had produced a TV movie that won an award, and they were goofing around in front of the press backstage.’
    • ‘The band goofs about in a Blink 182 fashion, on tracks such as White Trash, Walkie Talkie Man and Fat and Proud, but also provides solidity and substance in tracks like Be Good To Me and Road Trip.’
    mockery, derision, laughter, scorn, scoffing, contempt, jeering, sneering, sneers, jibes, jibing, joking, teasing, taunts, taunting, ragging, chaffing, twitting, raillery, sarcasm, satire, lampoon, burlesque, caricature, parody
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    1. 1.1goof off Be lazy; avoid one's work or duties.
      ‘too many students are goofing off’
      • ‘With no other tools at hand save a pair of electric belt sanders, Stewart and Garland proceed to try and sand a hole through the wall, while the restless Jim spends the time goofing off and distracting them.’
      • ‘Besides, you know the three of us would just goof off the whole time.’
      • ‘They wished for Rio to have a brother and a sister to goof off with.’
      • ‘I find myself looking at the contractors on my team and questioning what they're doing, if they're goofing off, etc.’
      • ‘At least one Web entrepreneur is trying to capitalize on people goofing off during work.’
      • ‘In Beantown, city officials want to install GPS tracking devices to make sure unionized drivers aren't goofing off or endangering schoolchildren.’
      • ‘I imagine that my colleagues may be thinking I am goofing off so I respond instantly to emails/calls.’
      • ‘Her teacher loved her, even though she was not in the group, and allowed Raine to goof off in class as long as she did some of her work.’
      • ‘I was goofing off with the digital camera last night and posted this picture of Wendy this morning over on the photoblog.’
      • ‘I'm glad to have the readers, but don't let your bosses see you goofing off!’
      • ‘Sullivan's off to spend some quality time goofing off.’
      • ‘Looking back, I remembered the time that Jonathon and I were goofing off at the mall.’
      • ‘We get to eat what we want, when we want it, watch back-to-back James Bond movies, as we did today, and celebrate and goof off in a way that works for us.’
      • ‘So, this August, I decided that I needed some justification for playing, dozing, gazing, ambling and goofing off without guilt.’
      • ‘I'd much rather get my nice, easy, average level work out of the way and go goof off than actually challenge myself, but the counselor also says that my acting out is a way to draw attention to my unmet needs for academic challenge.’
      • ‘If you happen to wander the corridors around our work areas and see us surfing the Net, rest assured, we aren't goofing off.’
      • ‘The teachers let us goof off in class and do whatever we wanted.’
      • ‘This stuff is just as hard for me as it is for them, but they goof off all the time and complain about their grades.’
      • ‘I've got a bit of a bug today and am still on vacation, so I think I'll goof off some more.’
      • ‘Tempted to log on and goof off in your favorite chat room, rather than complete the financial projections on your new business plan?’
      • ‘They were pretty shocked that they were given the day to goof off.’
      • ‘I will try to blog now and then from the Big Square State in the Rockies, but mostly we'll be goofing off.’
      • ‘The purpose of graduating from college is to take up your work in earnest, not goof off forever.’
      • ‘When I first put on Hootenanny, for instance, last week, the first track I heard was the title track - pretty shambolic, with all the band swapping instruments and goofing off.’
      • ‘Wright displayed considerable comedic skills, making funny faces, doing impressions and goofing off on stage.’
      • ‘The final bell rang and the students came piling out into the hallways rushing to get to their Common Rooms to goof off before doing their schoolwork.’
      • ‘I was goofing off, kicking my leg up into the net, letting it get caught and pulling it out again.’
      • ‘As far as I know, they haven't changed anything in terms of making it tougher for reps to goof off.’
      • ‘The more I plan out my future and the more it seems to diverge from the futures of those around me, the more I appreciate spending time goofing off with people who are game.’
      • ‘Both he and Garlin are good for laughs when they're goofing off to entertain the children with sing-alongs or synchronized face-making exercises, but this is the problem.’
      • ‘We got to spend our summer doing what very few people get to do anymore - just hang out and goof off.’
      • ‘He and I used to goof off around the apartments and shoot hoops together.’
      • ‘When the guy is goofing off, he's fun and charming.’
      • ‘Now, I've never owned an Apple, and I'd never even worked on any Apple product other than goofing off with the Apple II's at school.’
      • ‘It's the last week of my Reading Elective, and I haven't done half as much goofing off as I was planning to.’
      • ‘The master is away and we want to goof off for a while without getting caught.’
      • ‘Rather than goof off this summer before entering his senior year, he's skating across the entire US to raise money for a cancer-related charity called The Neely House.’
      • ‘She was able to goof off this last year and it felt relaxing to know that she wasn't going to need any brain cells, she didn't have many left to spare.’
      • ‘When we run out of time, we cut the fun stuff and do the ‘productive’ stuff because we may feel guilty or bad if we play hooky or goof off by playing a game of golf or chess, taking a hike in the woods or daydreaming for an hour.’
      • ‘A lot of people were using this as an opportunity to goof off, but I really didn't want to have extra homework tonight.’
      malinger, pretend to be ill, fake illness, feign illness
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    2. 1.2goof on Make fun of; ridicule.
      ‘Lew and I started goofing on Alison's friend’
      • ‘Now, I grant you, people sometimes goof on Larry's softball interviewing techniques.’
      • ‘Here the real Chris Isaak and Silvertones are playing out there like pros - not a faux tribute band - and Chris is goofing on the band like he does on TV.’
      • ‘I've had people who've asked me why I've done it, and I'm familiar enough with Rastafarian culture that people who are deeply involved with that culture don't think I'm just goofing on it.’
      • ‘This is a guy that more than understands the music he's goofing on - he worships it.’
      • ‘By 1978, when Dean Wormer in Animal House threatened his students with ‘double secret probation,’ audiences recognized it as a knowing goof on a dead-and-buried policy.’
      • ‘Thankfully, the filmmakers don't spend a lot of time goofing on the era à la Austin Powers, and choose, instead, to play it fairly straight.’
      • ‘He treats his lip-synch sequences as if he's goofing on us, going for laughs, instead of playing it straight.’
      • ‘He says, ‘I like to goof on pop culture, movies and music videos, then run them into politics.’’
      • ‘It might be easier if I could lighten up, get with the festivities, exult in the magic of it all, or even goof on the absurd lengths to which we'll go to entertain ourselves during January in Minnesota.’
      • ‘There's no doubt that he's goofing on these characters, but the song is also infused with a measure of affection.’
      • ‘Watching the actress goof on the various stereotypes of the servant character is gold.’
      • ‘The group goofs on themselves, on each other, and on the film, and the good time they're having is sort of infectious.’
      • ‘It was one thing for intimates to make light of Shawn's squeamish quirks, but he was an outsider goofing on a dignified old man whose job he was about to take.’
      • ‘Back then, the goofing on each other was as commonplace as the losing.’
      • ‘The band's catalogue goofs on everything from country to wailing metal.’
      • ‘When your own network starts goofing on you, watch out.’
      • ‘But the smarter people enjoyed the twist on the word play and the less smart people just enjoyed the goofing on people and watching people get upset.’
      • ‘He had to goof on all that stuff, like dressing appropriately, to show that he was really cool.’
      • ‘He is constantly insulted, made fun of, and goofed on and he takes it like a retarded puppy.’
      make fun of, poke fun at, chaff, make jokes about, rag, mock, laugh at, guy, satirize, be sarcastic about
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  • 2Make a mistake.

    ‘someone at the bank had goofed’
    • ‘I've got the tape recorder in my right hand, and I goof up and push the wrong button sometimes.’
    • ‘I was always the goofy, little guy, and they figured I goofed up again.’
    • ‘He goofed, he got it wrong, and again, the select committee has had to fix up his mistake.’
    • ‘Still I know there will be times when I goof up - when things would not be the way I want them to be.’
    • ‘If you goof up continually, then he or she will be blamed for sending you unprepared.’
    • ‘Somebody in the Attorney General's office has goofed again.’
    • ‘They goofed, nothing more, and should hold their hands up in guilt and not court sympathy from administrative level.’
    • ‘I want him to teach me how because I know he won't get mad if I goof.’
    • ‘You knew that Barney was going to goof up sometime during the show.’
    • ‘And if you goof up, at worst, you can shave your head and be riding another fashion hair trend for a while.’
    • ‘These days, computers are programmed to acknowledge errors in less than graceful ways when something goes wrong: They flash a brusque error message, telling you that you have goofed.’
    • ‘‘Sounds simple enough,’ I breathed, beginning to sweat, ‘But what if I goof up?’’
    • ‘The federation further goofed up when the goalkeeper's luggage and a few hockey sticks were withheld at Moscow airport as the team did not have the necessary letter requesting for allowance of extra-baggage.’
    • ‘She could goof up without it being splashed across the cover of People.’
    • ‘That's good for passenger safety, but bad for you if you goof up.’
    • ‘Sure enough, a few days later he heard from the personnel office - they had goofed and sent a rejection letter when he had actually been approved!’
    • ‘Sorry - I'm not being persnickety for the sake of it; it's just a little hard to accept your assessment of a scientific situation as having predictive weight if you goof up on the language.’
    • ‘It involves acknowledging that some things were wrong and that some people goofed - maybe deliberately, maybe through ignorance.’
    • ‘I want to say how badly the Government goofed up.’
    • ‘Usually, in a crossword, if I goof up, I can erase the word, or just complete a different part of the puzzle.’
    make a mistake, be mistaken, err, be in error, misjudge, miscalculate, bungle, trip up, be wrong, get something wrong, be wide of the mark
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Origin

Early 20th century: of unknown origin; compare with goop.

Pronunciation

goof

/ɡuːf/