1. Using an exaggerated, highly subjective style, as in journalism: "a hyperkinetic, gonzo version of Graham Greene" (New Yorker).
2. Extreme, unconventional, or bizarre: gonzo artwork; a gonzo snowboarding style.
3. Crazy, excited, or unrestrained: Fans went gonzo when the band came out.
[Perhaps Italian, simpleton (perhaps short for Borgonzone, Burgundian) or Spanish ganso, dullard, goose (of Germanic origin; see ghans- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.