Definition of goose in English:



  • 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.

    • ‘There are four kinds of tit around here as well as woodpeckers, chaffinches, grey leg geese and tufted ducks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Millions of birds - ducks, geese, pelicans, shore birds - use the sea each year.’
    • ‘It also has contributed to the decrease of water fowl such as duck, geese, curlew, plover and snipe.’
    • ‘However, most ducks and geese have spatulate bills, while our little friend had a long, pointed one.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were thousands of gulls present along with geese, ducks, egrets, and crows all loafing or actively feeding on the airfield.’
    • ‘There were turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens and guinea fowl on sale.’
    • ‘Between March and September the rare osprey visits and there are duck, geese, swans, grouse, herons and buzzards.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a pleasure to see the ducks, geese and water hens merrily splashing around in the lake.’
    • ‘If they're in the mood for something different, they also can hunt for geese, quail, ducks, and pheasants.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ducks, geese and water hens will be introduced shortly and it is hoped over a short period to build up a colony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.’
    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.
      • ‘Turkey is easier, but anyone having a fancy for goose, duck, capon or our more unusual feathered friends shouldn't take any chances.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Also, you're probably full to the brim with goose, turkey and ham.’
      • ‘Also popular for special meals is roast duck, pork, or goose with dumplings and 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.’
      • ‘That is why apple sauce is served with fatty pork and goose.’
      • ‘If you get giblets with your goose, add them to the stock or gravy for extra flavour.’
      • ‘The mail-order range has now been extended to include beef, duck, lamb, chicken, pheasant and goose.’
      • ‘Dig into a tasty Hungarian sausage, or beef with dumplings and gravy, or roast goose with sauerkraut.’
      • ‘Christmas dinner includes roast pork or goose, blood sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, and head cheese, with gingerbread cookies for dessert.’
      • ‘It suits strongly-flavoured foods such as meat and game along with fatty meats such as goose, duck, pork and sausages.’
      • ‘Roasted goose has a much better texture than duck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The entrées were boiled pork and beef, roast beef, mutton chops, and goose, while side dishes included hominy, cabbage, potatoes, and fried tripe.’
      • ‘So why isn't rack of pork more popular, up there with goose and turkey as the third option for Christmas dinner?’
      • ‘However this year I think I will provide my own Christmas dinner, I think, of goose.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2informal A foolish person.

    ‘‘Silly goose,’ he murmured fondly’
    • ‘‘Serves you right, you goose,’ she said, trying to read her magazine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She called me a silly goose earlier… she's a nutcase as well.’
    • ‘You silly goose, the girl you saw him with was Star Ann.’
    • ‘Lord, you're so good to me… Why am I such a 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.’
  • 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.

    • ‘Triks managed to run up and goose her just as the photo was being taken.’
    • ‘There are many times I saw him goose her affectionately as he walked by her in the kitchen.’
    • ‘In idle moments, we have imagined ourselves tugging playfully at his beard, perching on his chunky thighs and goosing his ample behind.’
    • ‘He finished the drink in one pull, and goosed a waitress as she walked by.’
    • ‘Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt started goosing me in a sensitive spot and I couldn't stop laughing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I give Trent a kiss and goose him once I reach his locker on Monday morning.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He winked at one of the girls and goosed one of the boys.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Never goose anybody with your wand, unless it is specifically called for in the ritual.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As we passed around the corner I reached out and goosed Michelle, but she was ready for it and returned the favor.’
    • ‘I might have goosed my husband on his way out of the shower.’
  • 2North American Give (something) a boost; invigorate.

    ‘the government's desire to goose the tired housing market’
    • ‘So, you have both sides fighting very hard to make sure that the press isn't goosing the process along.’
    • ‘Then I goosed the throttle, and tore away at top speed.’
    • ‘I goosed the throttle again, and headed back towards the thick of the fighting.’
    • ‘We need one of those altercations every few shows to goose up our ratings.’
    • ‘Morning is the best time to goose your metabolism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And she goosed innovation by creating an incentive program that has doubled the number of patents HP filed this year.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, if purchasing bonds drives down U.S. bond yields, it may goose the American economy.’
    • ‘Perhaps they do this every night just to goose the lobby-bar revenue.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What's more, there's a clear incentive to goose these numbers, especially among tech companies that are heavy issuers of employee stock options.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I goosed the gas and hot-footed it across the bridge.’
    • ‘He has been able to goose up the money supply without suffering serious price inflation, due to various underlying deflationary trends.’
    • ‘For now, though, the focus is on whether the Fed will succeed in goosing growth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If he cannot, his credibility will suffer, and so will his efforts to goose the bureaucracy to better protect the public.’
    • ‘But the constantly increasing numbers do goose the excitement level.’
    • ‘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.’


  • 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.