Definition of goose in English:


nounPlural geese

  • 1A large waterbird with a long neck, short legs, webbed feet, and a short broad bill. Generally geese are larger than ducks and have longer necks and shorter bills.

    Several genera in the family Anatidae; most domesticated geese are descended from the greylag

    • ‘Brightly coloured bushes and flowers carpet the windswept hills, and in every hollow there are lakes or ponds teeming with black-necked swans, upland geese, ruddy ducks and silvery teal.’
    • ‘Birds affected by this disease are fowls, bantams, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, guinea fowl and other wild and captive birds, including ratites such as ostriches, emus and rhea.’
    • ‘It is a pleasure to see the ducks, geese and water hens merrily splashing around in the lake.’
    • ‘Ducks, geese and water hens will be introduced shortly and it is hoped over a short period to build up a colony.’
    • ‘In October and November, as many as 50,000 migrating geese, ducks, and tundra swans stop at the refuge during their voyage along the Atlantic Flyway.’
    • ‘A haven of small islands and bars of land looking out towards the sea, the place is a paradise for birdwatchers harbouring geese, eider duck, grouse and eagle.’
    • ‘There were thousands of gulls present along with geese, ducks, egrets, and crows all loafing or actively feeding on the airfield.’
    • ‘From October to early spring (if ice doesn't form solidly on them), many of these ponds host a variety of swans, geese and ducks.’
    • ‘There were turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens and guinea fowl on sale.’
    • ‘Millions of birds - ducks, geese, pelicans, shore birds - use the sea each year.’
    • ‘The ducks, geese, seagulls and coots looked hardened to this sort of intrusion, coolest of all was a cormorant that stood one-legged on an island and stretched its wings in a black, immobile pose.’
    • ‘Between March and September the rare osprey visits and there are duck, geese, swans, grouse, herons and buzzards.’
    • ‘Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.’
    • ‘They found an unspoilt refuge for birdlife - including rare Marsh Harrier, avocet, ducks and geese - existing in the middle of what ten years ago was open water.’
    • ‘There were many water fowl such as ducks, geese, swans, heron, cranes, plovers, snipe and curlew, many of which would have been occasionally hunted for their meat.’
    • ‘There are four kinds of tit around here as well as woodpeckers, chaffinches, grey leg geese and tufted ducks.’
    • ‘It also has contributed to the decrease of water fowl such as duck, geese, curlew, plover and snipe.’
    • ‘They wish all house sparrows and European starlings would just go away, and I am sure that their attitude regarding non-native ducks and geese is no better.’
    • ‘However, most ducks and geese have spatulate bills, while our little friend had a long, pointed one.’
    • ‘If they're in the mood for something different, they also can hunt for geese, quail, ducks, and pheasants.’
    1. 1.1 A female goose.
      • ‘The identification mark on the head draws the difference between the female and male variety, goose and the gander.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The flesh of a goose as food.
      • ‘It suits strongly-flavoured foods such as meat and game along with fatty meats such as goose, duck, pork and sausages.’
      • ‘However this year I think I will provide my own Christmas dinner, I think, of goose.’
      • ‘Dig into a tasty Hungarian sausage, or beef with dumplings and gravy, or roast goose with sauerkraut.’
      • ‘The recipes, both classic and modern, are preceded by notes on history and habitat, and helpful hints on everything from hanging and plucking game birds to catching wild fish and carving caribou and goose.’
      • ‘If you get giblets with your goose, add them to the stock or gravy for extra flavour.’
      • ‘The traditional Christmas main course is now mushrooming into a smorgasbord of poultry and red meats, with many people offering goose, fillet steak and lamb on top of the perennial turkey and ham.’
      • ‘The mail-order range has now been extended to include beef, duck, lamb, chicken, pheasant and goose.’
      • ‘In addition, several of the dishes look slightly out of place; roast goose with apple sauce and walnuts surely being more at home in a book of central European cookery.’
      • ‘Christmas dinner includes roast pork or goose, blood sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, and head cheese, with gingerbread cookies for dessert.’
      • ‘The entrées were boiled pork and beef, roast beef, mutton chops, and goose, while side dishes included hominy, cabbage, potatoes, and fried tripe.’
      • ‘Also popular for special meals is roast duck, pork, or goose with dumplings and sauerkraut.’
      • ‘So why isn't rack of pork more popular, up there with goose and turkey as the third option for Christmas dinner?’
      • ‘Also, you're probably full to the brim with goose, turkey and ham.’
      • ‘It is known that oysters, eel, corn bread, goose, venison, watercress, leeks, berries, and plums were eaten, all accompanied by sweet wine.’
      • ‘You can also order pheasant, caviar, quail, goose, salmon roes, imported cheese and Scottish smoked salmon.’
      • ‘That is why apple sauce is served with fatty pork and goose.’
      • ‘Roasted goose has a much better texture than duck.’
      • ‘Turkey is easier, but anyone having a fancy for goose, duck, capon or our more unusual feathered friends shouldn't take any chances.’
  • 2informal A foolish person.

    ‘‘Silly goose,’ he murmured fondly’
    • ‘Lord, you're so good to me… Why am I such a silly goose?’
    • ‘His girlish prattlings cause the nation's women to swoon like silly geese when they should be busy churning butter.’
    • ‘But, it's not complete because the missing ingredient is you, you silly goose.’
    • ‘But if we blithely assume that the second enclosure movement will have the same benign effects as the first, we may look like very silly geese indeed.’
    • ‘You silly goose, the girl you saw him with was Star Ann.’
    • ‘She called me a silly goose earlier… she's a nutcase as well.’
    • ‘‘Serves you right, you goose,’ she said, trying to read her magazine.’
  • 3A tailor's smoothing iron.

    • ‘A goose is a tailor's iron; a donkey is a special board used for pressing sleeves and the shears are tailoring scissors.’


[with object]informal
  • 1Poke (someone) in the bottom.

    • ‘In idle moments, we have imagined ourselves tugging playfully at his beard, perching on his chunky thighs and goosing his ample behind.’
    • ‘I give Trent a kiss and goose him once I reach his locker on Monday morning.’
    • ‘There are many times I saw him goose her affectionately as he walked by her in the kitchen.’
    • ‘I might have goosed my husband on his way out of the shower.’
    • ‘Evan had slowed and was paying more attention to Taylor than where Jessi was, and the girl quickly came up behind her and goosed her.’
    • ‘He finished the drink in one pull, and goosed a waitress as she walked by.’
    • ‘He winked at one of the girls and goosed one of the boys.’
    • ‘As we passed around the corner I reached out and goosed Michelle, but she was ready for it and returned the favor.’
    • ‘There will be little boozing, not least because Utah state law places strict restrictions on the sale of alcohol, there will be no goosing of hostesses in the elevators, and all freebies will be politely but firmly returned.’
    • ‘And later, in 1970, I met a woman, the ex-wife of a prominent scientist, who had been gently goosed by the president during a White House dinner.’
    • ‘So, of course, I end up paying more attention to us teasing back and forth than Jessie, and the brat gooses me when I'm facing Taylor.’
    • ‘Never goose anybody with your wand, unless it is specifically called for in the ritual.’
    • ‘Triks managed to run up and goose her just as the photo was being taken.’
    • ‘Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt started goosing me in a sensitive spot and I couldn't stop laughing.’
  • 2North American Give (something) a boost; invigorate.

    ‘the government's desire to goose the tired housing market’
    • ‘I goosed the gas and hot-footed it across the bridge.’
    • ‘And she goosed innovation by creating an incentive program that has doubled the number of patents HP filed this year.’
    • ‘If he cannot, his credibility will suffer, and so will his efforts to goose the bureaucracy to better protect the public.’
    • ‘Then I goosed the throttle, and tore away at top speed.’
    • ‘The press has had little to say about the question whether some newspapers and magazines are routinely overcharging advertisers by goosing circulation numbers, a form of fraud.’
    • ‘I goosed the throttle again, and headed back towards the thick of the fighting.’
    • ‘So cue up your mix tape and find the 15 to 20 minutes of material that will goose your party into another gear for the rest of the year.’
    • ‘But the constantly increasing numbers do goose the excitement level.’
    • ‘What's more, there's a clear incentive to goose these numbers, especially among tech companies that are heavy issuers of employee stock options.’
    • ‘He has been able to goose up the money supply without suffering serious price inflation, due to various underlying deflationary trends.’
    • ‘Morning is the best time to goose your metabolism.’
    • ‘The 1977 paper made clear that they should not goose growth with low interest rates if doing so would call into question their commitment to sound money.’
    • ‘Others like hedge funds have compensation structures that offer them a fraction of the returns generated, and in an atmosphere of low returns, the desire to goose them up increases.’
    • ‘We need one of those altercations every few shows to goose up our ratings.’
    • ‘Indeed, if purchasing bonds drives down U.S. bond yields, it may goose the American economy.’
    • ‘Economists generally view rising deficits as a short-term positive, goosing the economy, but as a long-term threat, tending to drive up interest rates.’
    • ‘So, you have both sides fighting very hard to make sure that the press isn't goosing the process along.’
    • ‘This week I present ways to goose the staying power in your notebook's battery, tips on batteries you use in handheld devices, and what to do when your batteries have gone south.’
    • ‘Perhaps they do this every night just to goose the lobby-bar revenue.’
    • ‘For now, though, the focus is on whether the Fed will succeed in goosing growth.’


  • what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander (also what’s good for the goose is good for the gander)

    • proverb What is appropriate in one case is also appropriate in the other case in question.


Old English gōs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gans and German Gans, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin anser and Greek khēn.