Definition of gossip in English:



  • 1Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

    ‘he became the subject of much local gossip’
    • ‘The pilgrim was a good man, and innocent in his way, and sitting down to rest in the market square, he listened to the local gossip.’
    • ‘However, members of the public reading the caption would think it was true and that the gossip he reported was accurate.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most remarkable comment made by the source was when he referred to what he said was a popular theory in the current round of local gossip.’
    • ‘It's still uncertain if the damaging gossip is true, but if it were, I would only respect Sharon that much more!’
    • ‘Friendly newsagent Lynda, who is a runner in her spare time, keeps me up to date on the local athletics gossip.’
    • ‘It all became as terrible as completely true gossip would be.’
    • ‘Adam was talking to the owner of the apartment block once we'd moved in, and found out some of the local gossip about the residents.’
    • ‘The love triangle became the subject of local gossip and he was shattered.’
    • ‘Consequently, we kept our daily reports clear of any gossip or personal information.’
    • ‘His survival depends on audiences who will not accept fact-free reporting and who recognize gossip packaged in legalese.’
    • ‘After that incident, I immediately wrote an article to discuss the issue and asked the media not to report too much gossip.’
    • ‘One might think that they were there for an arisan (monthly social gathering) to catch up with the local gossip.’
    • ‘Once the local gossip was out of the way, she took to her usual habit of saying, ‘So what's new?’’
    • ‘The population is skewed toward the seriously rich, with billionaires, according to the local gossip, having driven out the millionaires.’
    • ‘Yes, but I must add it is mostly local gossip, the trial has yet to take place.’
    • ‘It was the place you'd go to hear the local gossip, have a quiet pint, watch a game on TV, or read the paper.’
    • ‘Those in tune with local film gossip have been waiting for Hussain's vision to hit the big screen for a long time.’
    • ‘While it is true that set gossip is often exaggerated, it's amazing how often stories turn out to be completely true.’
    • ‘It's a fast read with lots of insider details and gossip.’
    • ‘Hopefully I will find easy wireless access and have some fun gossip to report.’
    chat, talk, conversation, chatter, heart-to-heart, tête-à-tête, powwow, blether, blather
    tittle-tattle, tattle, whispers, stories, tales, canards, titbits
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    1. 1.1derogatory A person who likes talking about other people's private lives.
      • ‘There was more to titillate gossips; Queen Victoria instructed those servants so entrusted to place a lock of John Brown's hair and his photograph in her coffin at her death in 1901.’
      • ‘A list of six names was compiled by the gossips and rumour-mongers of Belgravia, among them key figures from high society - aristocracy, government ministers and film stars.’
      • ‘The government encourages village snoops and urban gossips to volunteer their infinite time and darkest thoughts as a way of keeping the rest of us in line.’
      • ‘Mean spirited gossips painted C.C. as a cold-blooded murderer but his dead brother would have been a more likely choice for that role.’
      • ‘Because friends don't let friends get tagged as vicious gossips.’
      • ‘Market gossips suggest there are up to half a dozen firms casting a serious eye over Rank.’
      • ‘The first gossips were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.’
      • ‘We've got replica handcuffs, manacles, thumb screws, a branding iron and even a scold's bridle, a metal head cage often used to punish and humiliate gossips to stop them from talking!’
      • ‘Under Wareham's instruction, they walked down the lane to the home of the local gossip, Mrs. Haggerton.’
      • ‘Also, I am totally intolerant of gossips and most annoying people.’
      • ‘This latest buzz on their crumbling relationship is only their press people conceding that the gossips have been right all along!’
      • ‘Like so much of what's been reported about Lorna Moon, it was largely codswallop, the tittle-tattle of small town gossips.’
      • ‘He was, incongruously, an incurable gossip, careful to label rumour for what it was, but fascinated by it…’
      • ‘The dichotomy that exists between reticent and proper small town papers and ruthlessly efficient small town gossips fascinates me.’
      • ‘But when it comes to protecting our peace and quiet, we Beggarsdalians make the Sicilians sound like a bunch of loud-mouthed gossips.’
      • ‘Oh, that poor woman, victim of small town gossips!’
      • ‘He was a horrible gossip, and his tales shifted from fact to fancy in the space of a minute.’
      • ‘He is one part charming, electric, shrewd, an engrossing teller of stories, a gossip - and one part beast.’
      • ‘E. used to have the best job a gossip could hope for - telephone operator in a small town in the days of party lines.’
      • ‘And my respect is never earned by idle-minded gossips, no matter how ancient they might be.’
      scandalmonger, gossipmonger, tattler, tittle-tattler, busybody, muckraker
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  • Engage in gossip.

    ‘they would start gossiping about her as soon as she left’
    • ‘The girls all gossiped and chatted, laughing really hard when Noah came to the door, and leaned on the frame.’
    • ‘She jokes and gossips about some of his parliamentary colleagues, and though he doesn't join in, he does chuckle.’
    • ‘Have you gossiped about one of those lunch girls behind her back?’
    • ‘What people once gossiped about, they now pass over in silence.’
    • ‘On the way home on the train, my brother read a racing form, my sister-in-law and I gossiped, and we were all grateful we didn't have to move.’
    • ‘We gossiped for a while and when the music stopped, went to our room.’
    • ‘I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent.’
    • ‘After the show we all sat in the bar and chatted and gossiped.’
    • ‘We laughed and drank more wine and gossiped about old colleagues, including one women who fell in love with a Cuban while holidaying in Havana.’
    • ‘Taking a seat in a corner booth, we order a bottle of wine and begin gossiping away merrily.’
    • ‘They gossiped, bickered, laughed and fought - just as children do every day.’
    • ‘He probably would have gossiped with Marcia, and tried to chat up David.’
    • ‘We were also gossiping about people from school when Bella's cell phone rang.’
    • ‘Who ever thought I'd wish people gossiped about me more?’
    • ‘Some read, some gossiped, some just stared at the ads.’
    • ‘Today, I spent a long time at the hairdressers, gossiping with the staff and having my hair coloured and snipped and fiddled with.’
    • ‘They worried about love, marriage and work, fussed about their children, gossiped and plotted.’
    • ‘They would have no one to cook for them, no one to clean, and no one to drive the buggy about town while they chatted and gossiped with their friends.’
    • ‘Her sister Lee offered her support and then gossiped about her to Truman Capote and Cecil Beaton.’
    • ‘Not just because she swears a lot, holds strident political views or gossips freely about the pomposity of certain Scottish theatre critics.’
    chat, talk, converse, speak to each other, discuss things, have a talk, have a chat, have a tête-à-tête, have a conversation, engage in conversation
    spread rumours, spread gossip, circulate rumours, spread stories, tittle-tattle, tattle, talk, whisper, tell tales, muckrake
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Late Old English godsibb godfather, godmother, baptismal sponsor literally a person related to one in God from god God + sibb a relative (see sib). In Middle English the sense was a close friend, a person with whom one gossips hence a person who gossips later (early 19th century) idle talk (from the verb, which dates from the early 17th century).