Definition of gossip noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɡɒsɪp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡɑːsɪp//
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  1. 1[uncountable] (disapproving) informal talk or stories about other people’s private lives, that may be unkind or not true Don't believe all the gossip you hear. Tell me all the latest gossip! The gossip was that he had lost a fortune on the stock exchange. It was common gossip (= everyone said so) that they were having an affair. She's a great one for idle gossip (= she enjoys spreading stories about other people that are probably not true).
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] a conversation about other people and their private lives I love a good gossip. Synonymsdiscussionconversation dialogue talk debate consultation chat gossipThese are all words for an occasion when people talk about something.discussion a detailed conversation about something that is considered to be important:Discussions are still taking place between the two leaders.conversation a talk, usually a private or informal one, involving two people or a small group; the activity of talking in this way:a telephone conversationdialogue conversations in a book, play or film:The novel has long descriptions and not much dialogue. A dialogue is also a formal discussion between two groups, especially when they are trying to solve a problem or end a dispute:The President told waiting reporters there had been a constructive dialogue.talk a conversation or discussion, often one about a problem or something important for the people involved:I had a long talk with my boss about my career prospects.debate a formal discussion of an issue at a public meeting or in a parliament. In a debate two or more speakers express opposing views and then there is often a vote on the issue:a debate on prison reformconsultation a formal discussion between groups of people before a decision is made about something:There have been extensive consultations between the two countries.chat a friendly informal conversation; informal talking. The countable use of chat is especially British English:I just called in for a chat about the kids.gossip a conversation about other people and their private lives:We had a good gossip about the boss.Patterns a discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​talk/​debate/​consultation/​chat/​gossip about something a discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​debate/​consultation on something in (close) discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​debate/​consultation with somebody to have a discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​talk/​debate/​consultation/​chat/​gossip with somebody to hold a discussion/​conversation/​debate/​consultation
  3. 3[countable] (disapproving) a person who enjoys talking about other people’s private lives Synonymsspeakercommunicator gossip talkerThese are all words for a person who talks or who is talking, especially in a particular way.speaker a person who is or was speaking; a person who speaks a particular language:I looked around to see who the speaker was. a fluent Arabic speakercommunicator (rather formal) a person who is able to describe their ideas and feelings clearly to others:The ideal candidate will be an effective communicator.gossip (disapproving) a person who enjoys talking about other people’s private lives:Myra is a dear, but she’s also a terrible gossip.talker a person who talks in a particular way or who talks a lot:He’s a very persuasive talker. She’s a (great) talker (= she talks a lot).speaker or talker? Talker is used when you are talking about how much somebody talks or how well they talk. It is not used for the person who is or was talking:I looked round to see who the talker was. You can say that somebody is a good/​persuasive speaker but that means that they are good at making speeches. If you mean that they speak well in conversation, use talker.Patterns a good/​great speaker/​communicator/​talker an effective/​excellent speaker/​communicator
  4. Word Originlate 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 cent.) ‘idle talk’ (from the verb, which dates from the early 17th cent.).Extra examples A piece of silly gossip was going round the school. He knows all the juicy gossip. I heard an interesting bit of gossip yesterday. I saw it in the gossip column of the local newspaper. It’s common gossip in the office that she’s about to leave her husband. She’s having a gossip with Maria. Someone has been spreading malicious gossip about me. We had a good gossip about the boss. You shouldn’t listen to idle gossip. a magazine full of gossip about famous people I was having a gossip with Maggie when he arrived. It was common gossip that they were having an affair. Myra is a dear, but she’s also a terrible gossip. She’s a great one for idle gossip. Tell me all the latest gossip! office gossip
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gossip