n. pl. geese (gēs)
a. Any of various wild or domesticated waterbirds of the family Anatidae, and especially of the genera Anser, Branta, and Chen, characteristically having a shorter neck than that of a swan and a shorter, more pointed bill than that of a duck.
b. The female of such a bird.
c. The flesh of such a bird used as food.
2. Informal A silly person.
3. pl. goos·es A tailor's pressing iron with a long curved handle.
4. Slang A poke, prod, or pinch between or on the buttocks.
tr.v. goosed, goos·ing, goos·es
1. To poke, prod, or pinch (a person) between or on the buttocks.
2. To move to action; spur: goosed the governor to sign the tax bill.
3. To give a spurt of fuel to (a car, for example); cause to accelerate quickly: "The pilot goosed his craft, powering away" (Nicholas Proffitt).
[Middle English goos, from Old English gōs; see ghans- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.