Definition of goose in US 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.

    Several genera in the family Anatidae, especially Anser and Branta; most domesticated geese are descended from the greylag

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens and guinea fowl on sale.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ducks, geese and water hens will be introduced shortly and it is hoped over a short period to build up a colony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, most ducks and geese have spatulate bills, while our little friend had a long, pointed one.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were thousands of gulls present along with geese, ducks, egrets, and crows all loafing or actively feeding on the airfield.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It also has contributed to the decrease of water fowl such as duck, geese, curlew, plover and snipe.’
    • ‘Between March and September the rare osprey visits and there are duck, geese, swans, grouse, herons and buzzards.’
    • ‘If they're in the mood for something different, they also can hunt for geese, quail, ducks, and pheasants.’
    • ‘Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.’
    • ‘Millions of birds - ducks, geese, pelicans, shore birds - use the sea each year.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    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. 1.2 The flesh of a goose as food.
      • ‘Christmas dinner includes roast pork or goose, blood sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, and head cheese, with gingerbread cookies for dessert.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you get giblets with your goose, add them to the stock or gravy for extra flavour.’
      • ‘That is why apple sauce is served with fatty pork and goose.’
      • ‘The mail-order range has now been extended to include beef, duck, lamb, chicken, pheasant and goose.’
      • ‘However this year I think I will provide my own Christmas dinner, I think, of goose.’
      • ‘The entrées were boiled pork and beef, roast beef, mutton chops, and goose, while side dishes included hominy, cabbage, potatoes, and fried tripe.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 suits strongly-flavoured foods such as meat and game along with fatty meats such as goose, duck, pork and sausages.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dig into a tasty Hungarian sausage, or beef with dumplings and gravy, or roast goose with sauerkraut.’
      • ‘You can also order pheasant, caviar, quail, goose, salmon roes, imported cheese and Scottish smoked salmon.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lord, you're so good to me… Why am I such a silly goose?’
    • ‘But, it's not complete because the missing ingredient is you, you silly goose.’
    • ‘His girlish prattlings cause the nation's women to swoon like silly geese when they should be busy churning butter.’
  • 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) between the buttocks.

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

    ‘the director goosed up the star's grosses by making him funny’
    • ‘So, you have both sides fighting very hard to make sure that the press isn't goosing the process along.’
    • ‘If he cannot, his credibility will suffer, and so will his efforts to goose the bureaucracy to better protect the public.’
    • ‘What's more, there's a clear incentive to goose these numbers, especially among tech companies that are heavy issuers of employee stock options.’
    • ‘I goosed the throttle again, and headed back towards the thick of the fighting.’
    • ‘For now, though, the focus is on whether the Fed will succeed in goosing growth.’
    • ‘But the constantly increasing numbers do goose the excitement level.’
    • ‘Indeed, if purchasing bonds drives down U.S. bond yields, it may goose the American economy.’
    • ‘Then I goosed the throttle, and tore away at top speed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Morning is the best time to goose your metabolism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We need one of those altercations every few shows to goose up our ratings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Perhaps they do this every night just to goose the lobby-bar revenue.’


  • 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.