Definition of goof in English:

goof

noun

North American
informal
  • 1A mistake:

    ‘one of the most embarrassing goofs of his tenure’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Besides the age goofs, the article was the best I've ever read!’
    • ‘If you enjoy noticing these kinds of narrative goofs, you'll really enjoy it when characters start getting literally sucked into space.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is disarmingly straightforward about his goofs and gaffes, of which he had plenty during his first go-round.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These, however, come under the heading of COLEMANBALLS, the long-running Private Eye column which records the goofs of sports commentators.’
    • ‘Despite the goof, the site raked in $200,000 overnight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘More conventional bonuses include good making-of documentaries, two commentaries and amusing technical goofs.’
    • ‘Hunters still make mistakes, but not many, and their goofs almost never are caused by booze.’
    • ‘We should assume that things we build will wear out faster than we hope, and that we will make goofs.’
    • ‘Laugh at your own goofs (everyone makes them) and, instead, revel in your individuality.’
    • ‘If you like to pick apart technical flaws and continuity goofs, then you should have a field day with Twister.’
    • ‘With respect to the film itself, there are many who take pride in highlighting the several goofs and gaffes on display.’
    • ‘A cute, but short, clip of goofs and gaffes from the season.’
    • ‘We can see them all too clearly in other people: workout mistakes, diet goofs, social gaffes.’
    • ‘So, we don't know why they made these goofs but there were some.’
    • ‘Also, I'm absolutely sure I spotted an enormous goof.’
    error, mistake, miscalculation, fallacy, slip, oversight, fault, blunder, gaffe, defect, flaw
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  • 2A foolish or stupid person.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ten thousand reckless little goofs get injured in our country's playground parks each year according to the Ontario-based Canadian Standards Association.’
    • ‘But she's more likely to describe herself as a goof.’
    • ‘Unlike Tomb Raider, Atlantis has a lead character, a likable goof named Milo who works in the basement of a museum around 1900.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then he called and lo and behold, I ended up looking like 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.’
    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’
    • ‘The Empire of Dreams documentary sometimes lapses charmingly into home-video compilation, showing the main characters goofing and corpsing.’
    • ‘He was my assistant coach and just goofing around.’
    • ‘The last shows some of the men goofing around in the snow.’
    • ‘The movie's full of gibberish, scenes replayed in different languages, non-sequiturs and a lot of high-minded goofing around.’
    • ‘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 last show was just us goofing around being ourselves.’
    • ‘Even when we just got together to goof around he'd put on make-up and a dress just to shock everyone.’
    • ‘‘I used to make a point, even when I was practising, never to goof around when I got to this hole,’ he says.’
    • ‘When they are off work they want to joke and goof around and play cards.’
    • ‘I'm finding it's the quiet moments that I'm remembering, the snuggling and cuddling and teasing and goofing around.’
    • ‘We hung around, goofed around and laughed till our stomachs threatened to split.’
    • ‘On Saturday morning they were gathered around the TV, half watching it, half goofing around.’
    • ‘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 picked up whatever was closest to us, and with the guys goofing around, loaded the undergarments into our bags.’
    • ‘He injured himself goofing around for the TV cameras at practice.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's no goofing around or joking, there's nothing really silly or funny about it.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, at the far end of the pitch, Roberto Carlos is goofing around, practising scissor-kicks for a Brazilian television crew.’
    • ‘We see them rehearsing, talking, goofing around, obsessing over coffee.’
    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’
      • ‘If you happen to wander the corridors around our work areas and see us surfing the Net, rest assured, we aren't goofing off.’
      • ‘Looking back, I remembered the time that Jonathon and I were goofing off at the mall.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I imagine that my colleagues may be thinking I am goofing off so I respond instantly to emails/calls.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I will try to blog now and then from the Big Square State in the Rockies, but mostly we'll be goofing 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.’
      • ‘I find myself looking at the contractors on my team and questioning what they're doing, if they're goofing off, etc.’
      • ‘I'm glad to have the readers, but don't let your bosses see you goofing off!’
      • ‘Wright displayed considerable comedic skills, making funny faces, doing impressions and goofing off on stage.’
      • ‘I was goofing off, kicking my leg up into the net, letting it get caught and pulling it out again.’
      • ‘So, this August, I decided that I needed some justification for playing, dozing, gazing, ambling and goofing off without guilt.’
      • ‘Sullivan's off to spend some quality time goofing off.’
      • ‘It's the last week of my Reading Elective, and I haven't done half as much goofing off as I was planning to.’
      • ‘When the guy is goofing off, he's fun and charming.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was goofing off with the digital camera last night and posted this picture of Wendy this morning over on the photoblog.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The band's catalogue goofs on everything from country to wailing metal.’
      • ‘He had to goof on all that stuff, like dressing appropriately, to show that he was really cool.’
      • ‘He treats his lip-synch sequences as if he's goofing on us, going for laughs, instead of playing it straight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Watching the actress goof on the various stereotypes of the servant character is gold.’
      • ‘When your own network starts goofing on you, watch out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is constantly insulted, made fun of, and goofed on and he takes it like a retarded puppy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Back then, the goofing on each other was as commonplace as the losing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The group goofs on themselves, on each other, and on the film, and the good time they're having is sort of infectious.’
      • ‘This is a guy that more than understands the music he's goofing on - he worships it.’
      • ‘He says, ‘I like to goof on pop culture, movies and music videos, then run them into politics.’’
      • ‘There's no doubt that he's goofing on these characters, but the song is also infused with a measure of affection.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘It involves acknowledging that some things were wrong and that some people goofed - maybe deliberately, maybe through ignorance.’
    • ‘They goofed, nothing more, and should hold their hands up in guilt and not court sympathy from administrative level.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Usually, in a crossword, if I goof up, I can erase the word, or just complete a different part of the puzzle.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘I've got the tape recorder in my right hand, and I goof up and push the wrong button sometimes.’
    • ‘Still I know there will be times when I goof up - when things would not be the way I want them to be.’
    • ‘I want to say how badly the Government goofed up.’
    • ‘If you goof up continually, then he or she will be blamed for sending you unprepared.’
    • ‘I want him to teach me how because I know he won't get mad if I goof.’
    • ‘She could goof up without it being splashed across the cover of People.’
    • ‘Somebody in the Attorney General's office has goofed again.’
    • ‘And if you goof up, at worst, you can shave your head and be riding another fashion hair trend for a while.’
    • ‘You knew that Barney was going to goof up sometime during the show.’
    • ‘He goofed, he got it wrong, and again, the select committee has had to fix up his mistake.’
    • ‘I was always the goofy, little guy, and they figured I goofed up again.’
    • ‘‘Sounds simple enough,’ I breathed, beginning to sweat, ‘But what if I goof up?’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That's good for passenger safety, but bad for you if you goof up.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

goof

/ɡuːf/