gorgeous (adj.) Look up gorgeous at Dictionary.com
c. 1500, "splendid, showy, sumptuously adorned" (of clothing), from Middle French gorgias "elegant, fashionable," of unknown origin; perhaps a special use of gorgias "necklace" (and thus "fond of or resembling jewelry"), from Old French gorge "throat," also "something adorning the throat" (see gorge (n.)). A connection to the Greek proper name Gorgias (supposedly in reference to a notorious sophist) also has been proposed. Related: Gorgeousness.
gorgeously (adv.) Look up gorgeously at Dictionary.com
1530s, from gorgeous + -ly (2).
gorget (n.) Look up gorget at Dictionary.com
"armor for the throat," late 15c., from Old French gorgete "throat, necklace," diminutive of gorge "throat" (see gorge (n.)).
gorgon (n.) Look up gorgon at Dictionary.com
late 14c., in Greek legend, any of the three hideous sisters, with writhing serpents for hair, whose look turned beholders to stone, from Greek Gorgones (plural; singular Gorgo) "the grim ones," from gorgos "terrible, fierce, grim," of unknown origin. Transferred sense of "terrifyingly ugly person" is from 1520s. Their names were Medusa, Euryale, and Stheino, but when only one is mentioned, Medusa usually is meant. Slain by Perseus, her head was fixed on the aegis of Athena.
gorgonzola Look up gorgonzola at Dictionary.com
type of blue cheese, 1878, short for Gorgonzola cheese (1866), named for Gorgonzola, village near Milan where it was made.
In the neighbourhood is Gorgonzola, celebrated in the annals of the middle ages for the victory of Frederigo Barbarossa over the Milanese, in 1158; for the capture of the chevalric and poetic king Ensius, in 1243; for the advantage gained by the Torriani over the Visconti, in 1278, and which the latter revenged in 1281; but above all, famous for its strachino a cheese of European celebrity. ["Italy and its Comforts," London, 1842]
gorilla (n.) Look up gorilla at Dictionary.com
1847, applied to a species of large apes (Troglodytes gorills) by U.S. missionary Thomas Savage, from Greek gorillai, plural of name given to wild, hairy beings (now supposed to have been chimpanzees) in a Greek translation of Carthaginian navigator Hanno's account of his voyage along the northwest coast of Africa, c. 500 B.C.E. Allegedly an African word.
In its inmost recess was an island similar to that formerly described, which contained in like manner a lake with another island, inhabited by a rude description of people. The females were much more numerous than the males, and had rough skins: our interpreters called them Gorillae. We pursued but could take none of the males; they all escaped to the top of precipices, which they mounted with ease, and threw down stones; we took three of the females, but they made such violent struggles, biting and tearing their captors, that we killed them, and stripped off the skins, which we carried to Carthage: being out of provisions we could go no further. [Hanno, "Periplus"]
Of persons perceived as being gorilla-like, from 1884.
gorm (n.) Look up gorm at Dictionary.com
"fool," 1912, perhaps from gormless.
gormless (adj.) Look up gormless at Dictionary.com
c. 1746, also in early use gaumless, gawmless, "wanting sense, stupid," a British dialectal word, from gome "notice, understanding" (c. 1200), from Old Norse gaumr "care, heed" (of unknown origin); + -less.
gorse (n.) Look up gorse at Dictionary.com
Old English gors "gorse, furze," from Proto-Germanic *gorst- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German gersta, Middle Dutch gherste, Dutch gerst, German gerste "barley"), from PIE *ghers- "to bristle" (source also of Latin hordeum "barley;" see horror).
gory (adj.) Look up gory at Dictionary.com
"covered with clotted blood," late 15c., from gore (n.1) + -y (2).
gosh (interj.) Look up gosh at Dictionary.com
minced oath, 1757, altered pronunciation of God. Probably via by gosse (mid-16c.).
goshawk (n.) Look up goshawk at Dictionary.com
large type of hawk flown at geese, Old English goshafoc, literally "goose-hawk," from gos "goose" (see goose (n.)) + hafoc "hawk" (see hawk (n.)). Compare Old Norse gashaukr.
Goshen Look up Goshen at Dictionary.com
Biblical name of the fertile land settled by the Israelites in Egypt; light shone there during the plague of darkness [Gen. xxxxv:10]. The name is of unknown origin.
gosling (n.) Look up gosling at Dictionary.com
mid-14c. (late 13c. as a surname), from Old Norse gæslingr, from gos "goose" (see goose (n.)) + diminutive suffix (see -ling). replaced Old English gesling. Or the modern word might be a Middle English formation from gos "goose." Similar formation in Danish gæsling, Swedish gäsling, German Gänslein.
gospel (n.) Look up gospel at Dictionary.com
Old English godspel "glad tidings announced by Jesus; one of the four gospels," literally "good spell," from god "good" (see good (adj.)) + spel "story, message" (see spell (n.1)). A translation of Latin bona adnuntiatio, itself a translation of Greek euangelion "reward for bringing good news" (see evangel). The first element of the Old English word originally had a long "o," but it shifted under mistaken association with God, as if "God-story" (i.e. the history of Christ).
The mistake was very natural, as the resulting sense was much more obviously appropriate than that of 'good tidings' for a word which was chiefly known as the name of a sacred book or of a portion of the liturgy. [OED]
The word passed early from English to continental Germanic languages in forms that clearly indicate the first element had shifted to "God," such as Old Saxon godspell, Old High German gotspell, Old Norse goðspiall. Used of anything as true as the Gospel from mid-13c.; as "any doctrine maintained as of exclusive importance" from 1650s. As an adjective from 1640s. Gospel music is by 1955. Gospel-gossip was Addison's word ("Spectator," 1711) for "one who is always talking of sermons, texts, etc."
gospelize (v.) Look up gospelize at Dictionary.com
"to preach the gospel," 1640s, from gospel + -ize. Old English had godspellian (Middle English gospel (v.)) in the same sense.
gospeller (n.) Look up gospeller at Dictionary.com
Old English godspellere, "one of the four evangelists;" agent noun from gospel. Used from 1530s of Protestants and Puritans, often as a term of reproach.
gossamer (n.) Look up gossamer at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "filmy substance (actually spider threads) found in fields of stubble in late fall," apparently from gos "goose" (see goose (n.)) + sumer "summer" (see summer (n.)). Not found in Old English. The reference might be to a fancied resemblance of the silk to goose down, or more likely it is shifted from an original sense of "late fall; Indian summer" because geese are in season then. Compare Swedish equivalent sommartrad "summer thread," Dutch zommerdraden (plural). The German equivalent mädchensommer (literally "girls' summer") also has a sense of "Indian summer," and there was a Scottish go-summer "period of summer-like weather in late autumn" (1640s, folk-etymologized as if from go). Thus the English word originally might have referred to a warm spell in autumn before being transferred to a phenomenon especially noticeable then. Compare obsolete Scottish go-summer "period of summer-like weather in late autumn." Meaning "anything light or flimsy" is from c. 1400; as a type of gauze used for veils, 1837. The adjective sense "filmy, light as gossamer" is attested from 1802.
gossip (n.) Look up gossip at Dictionary.com
Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "a familiar acquaintance, a friend, neighbor" (c. 1300), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.
gossip (v.) Look up gossip at Dictionary.com
"to talk idly about the affairs of others," 1620s, from gossip (n.). Related: Gossiped; gossiping.
gossipy (adj.) Look up gossipy at Dictionary.com
1818, from gossip (n.) + -y (2).
got Look up got at Dictionary.com
past tense and one past participle form of get (v.).
gotcha Look up gotcha at Dictionary.com
by 1913, colloquial pronunciation of "(I have) got you."
Goth (n.) Look up Goth at Dictionary.com
Old English Gota (plural Gotan) "a member of the Germanic people who lived in Eastern Europe c.100 C.E.," from Late Latin Gothus (plural Gothi), from Greek Gothos (plural Gothoi), from Gothic *Gutos, which is preserved in Gothic gutþiuda "Gothic people," the first element cognate with Old Norse gotar "men" (the second meaning "people; see Dutch). "The sense 'men' is usually taken to be the secondary one, but as the etymology of the word is unknown, this is uncertain" [Gordon]. The unhistorical -th- in the modern English word is from Late Latin.

They entered history in 3c. C.E. on the lower Danube and later invaded the Roman Empire and were converted to Arian Christianity. Used in sense of "rude or uncivilized person; savage despoiler" (1660s) in reference to their fifth-century sacking of Roman cities (compare vandal, and French gothique, still with a sense of "barbarous, rude, cruel"). In 19c., in reference to living persons, it meant "a Gothicist" (1812), that is, "an admirer of the Gothic style, especially in architecture." Modern use as an adjective in reference to a subculture style (typically with lower-case g-) is from 1986, short for Gothic in this sense.
By 1982, when the legendary Batcave club opened in London, the music press had begun to use the term gothic rock to describe the music and fandom around which a new postpunk subculture was forming. [Lauren M.E. Goodlad & Michael Bibby, "Goth: Undead Subculture," 2007]
Gotham (n.) Look up Gotham at Dictionary.com
"New York City," first used by Washington Irving in "Salmagundi" (1807), based on "Merrie Tales of the Mad Men of Gotham" (1460), a collection of legendary stories of English villagers alternately wise and foolish. There is a village of this name in Nottinghamshire, originally Gatham (1086), in Old English, "Enclosure (literally 'homestead') where goats are kept." It is unknown if this was the place intended in the stories. Related: Gothamite.
Gothic (adj.) Look up Gothic at Dictionary.com
"of the Goths," the ancient Germanic people, "pertaining to the Goths or their language," 1610s, from Late Latin Gothicus, from Gothi, Greek Gothoi (see Goth). Old English had Gotisc. As a noun, "the language of the Goths," from 1757. Gothic was used by 17c. scholars to mean "Germanic, Teutonic," hence its use from 1640s as a term for the art style that emerged in northern Europe in the Middle Ages (which has nothing to do with the historical Goths), originally applied in scorn by Italian architects of the Renaissance; it was extended early 19c. to literary style that used northern European medieval settings to suggest horror and mystery. The word was revived 1983 as the name for a style of music and the associated youth culture (see goth). In typography, in England of black-face letters used for German text (1781), in the U.S. of square-cut printing type. Gothic revival in reference to a style of architecture and decorating (championed by Sir George Gilbert Scott) is from 1856.
gotta (v.) Look up gotta at Dictionary.com
1885, attempt to represent the casual pronunciation of got to.
gotten Look up gotten at Dictionary.com
a past participle form of get, showing vestiges of the Old English form of the verb. With adverbs, "obtained or acquired" (in some specified manner) from mid-14c.
Gotterdammerung (n.) Look up Gotterdammerung at Dictionary.com
1909 in the figurative sense of "complete overthrow" of something; from German Götterdämmerung (18c.), literally "twilight of the gods," from genitive plural of Gott "god" (see god) + Dämmerung "dusk, twilight," from PIE root *teme- "dark" (see temerity). Used by Wagner as the title of the last opera in the Ring cycle. It translates Old Norse ragna rok "the doom or destruction of the gods, the last day, world's end." Used by Wagner as the title of the last opera in the Ring cycle.
gouache (n.) Look up gouache at Dictionary.com
method of painting, 1882, from French gouache "watercolors, water-color painting" (18c.), from Italian guazzo "watercolor," originally "spray, splash, puddle, pool," from Latin aquatio "watering, watering place," from aquatus, past participle of aquari "to bring water for drinking," from aqua "water" (see aqua-).
Gouda Look up Gouda at Dictionary.com
type of cheese, 1885, named for a town in Holland.
Goudy Look up Goudy at Dictionary.com
typeface family, 1917, from name of U.S. typographer Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947).
gouge (n.) Look up gouge at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "chisel with a concave blade," from Old French gouge "a gouge" (14c.), from Late Latin gubia, alteration of gulbia "hollow beveled chisel," probably from Gaulish (compare Old Irish gulban "prick, prickle," Welsh gylfin "beak"). Meaning "an imposition, a cheat" is from 1845, American English colloquial.
gouge (v.) Look up gouge at Dictionary.com
1560s, "to cut with a gouge," from gouge (n.). Meaning "to force out with a gouge" (especially of the eyes, in fighting) attested by 1800. Meaning "to swindle" is American English colloquial from 1826 (implied in plural noun gougers). Related: Gouged; gouging.
goulash (n.) Look up goulash at Dictionary.com
1866, from Hungarian gulyáshús, from gulyás "herdsman" + hús "meat." In Hungarian, "beef or lamb soup made by herdsmen while pasturing."
gourami (n.) Look up gourami at Dictionary.com
type of freshwater fish, 1834, earlier in French, from Malay gurami.
gourd (n.) Look up gourd at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Anglo-French gourde, Old French coorde, ultimately from Latin cucurbita "gourd," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps related to cucumis "cucumber." Dried and excavated, the shell was used as a scoop or dipper.
gourmand (n.) Look up gourmand at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "glutton," from Middle French gourmand "glutton," originally an adjective, "gluttonous," of uncertain origin. Not considered to be connected with gourmet. Meaning "one fond of good eating" is from 1758.
The gourmand is one whose chief pleasure is eating; but a gourmet is a connoisseur of food and wines. In England the difference is this: a gourmand regards quantity more than quality, a gourmet quality more than quantity. [Brewer, "Dictionary of Phrase and Fable," Philadelphia, 1898]
gourmandize (v.) Look up gourmandize at Dictionary.com
also gormandize, gormandise, 1540s, from gourmand + -ize.
gourmet (n.) Look up gourmet at Dictionary.com
"connoisseur in eating and drinking," 1820, from French gourmet, altered (by influence of Middle French gourmant "glutton") from Old French groume, originally "wine-taster, wine merchant's servant" (in 13c. "a lad generally"), a word of uncertain origin. As an adjective from 1900. Compare groom (n.1). For sense distinction, see gourmand.
gout (n.) Look up gout at Dictionary.com
joint disease, c. 1200, from Old French gote "a drop, bead; the gout, rheumatism" (10c., Modern French goutte), from Latin gutta "a drop," in Medieval Latin "gout," a word of unknown origin. The disease was thought to be caused by drops of viscous humors seeping from the blood into the joints, which turns out to be close to the modern scientific explanation.
gouty (adj.) Look up gouty at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from gout + -y (2).
govern (v.) Look up govern at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "to rule with authority," from Old French governer "steer, be at the helm of; govern, rule, command, direct" (11c., Modern French gouverner), from Latin gubernare "to direct, rule, guide, govern" (source also of Spanish gobernar, Italian governare), originally "to steer, to pilot," a nautical borrowing from Greek kybernan "to steer or pilot a ship, direct as a pilot," figuratively "to guide, govern" (the root of cybernetics). The -k- to -g- sound shift is perhaps via the medium of Etruscan. Intransitive sense from 1590s. Related: Governed; governing.
governable (adj.) Look up governable at Dictionary.com
1640s, from govern + -able.
governance (n.) Look up governance at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act or manner of governing," from Old French governance "government, rule, administration; (rule of) conduct" (Modern French gouvernance), from governer "to govern, rule, command" (see govern). Fowler writes that the word "has now the dignity of incipient archaism," but it might continue useful in its original sense as government comes to mean primarily "the governing power in a state."
governess (n.) Look up governess at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "female ruler," shortening of governouresse "a woman who rules" (late 14c.), from Old French governeresse "female ruler or administrator" (see governor + -ess). The Latin fem, form was gubernatrix. In the sense of "a female teacher in a private home" governess it is attested from 1712, probably as a fem. of governor in the now-obsolete sense "one who has charge of a young man's education and activities, a tutor" (1570s).
government (n.) Look up government at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act of governing or ruling;" 1550s, "system by which a thing is governed" (especially a state), from Old French governement "control, direction, administration" (Modern French gouvernement), from governer "to govern" (see govern). Meaning "governing power" in a given place is from 1702. Compare governance.
governmental (adj.) Look up governmental at Dictionary.com
1744, from government + -al (1). Related: Governmentally. A Middle English word in the same sense was gubernatif (late 14c.).
governmentalism (n.) Look up governmentalism at Dictionary.com
"disposition to enlarge the power and scope of the government," 1841, from governmental + -ism; originally in reference to France and perhaps from French.
Besides this, it is a well known fact, one made sufficiently clear by the history of the United States, that the less governmentalism there is in a country, the better it is for the citizens as to their material interests. A very complicated governmental apparatus, when, especially, it is useless, is and can be only hurtful to the interests of the mass of the people. [Amedee H. Simonin, "Resumption of Specie Payments," 1868]
Related: Governmentalist.
governor (n.) Look up governor at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, gouernour, "personal keeper, protector, guide;" late 14c., "one who governs, a ruler," from Old French governeor "prince, ruler, administrator; helmsman" (11c., Modern French gouverneur) and directly from Latin gubernatorem (nominative gubernator) "director, ruler, governor," originally "steersman, pilot" (see govern). Meaning "subordinate ruler; head of a province, etc." is from late 14c. Meaning "one charged with direction or control of an institution, etc." is from late 14c. Mechanical sense of "self-acting regulator" is from 1819. The adjective gubernatorial remembers the Latin form. There is a record of English governator from 1520s.