1. A chisel with a blade that has a rounded, angled, or troughlike indentation along its length.
a. A scooping or digging action, as with such a chisel.
b. A groove or hole scooped with or as if with such a chisel.
3. Informal A large amount, as of money, exacted or extorted.
tr.v. gouged, goug·ing, goug·es
1. To cut or scoop out with or as if with a gouge: "He began to gouge a small pattern in the sand with his cane" (Vladimir Nabokov).
a. To force out the eye of (a person) with one's thumb.
b. To thrust one's thumb into the eye of.
3. Informal To extort from.
4. Slang To swindle.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin gubia, variant of gulbia, of Celtic origin.]
(click for a larger image)gouge
left to right: hollow, parting, and fluting gouges
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.