AskDefine | Define gouge

Dictionary Definition



1 an impression in a surface (as made by a blow) [syn: dent, nick]
2 and edge tool with a blade like a trough for cutting channels or grooves
3 the act of gouging


1 force with the thumb; "gouge out his eyes" [syn: force out]
2 obtain by coercion or intimidation; "They extorted money from the executive by threatening to reveal his past to the company boss"; "They squeezed money from the owner of the business by threatening him" [syn: extort, squeeze, rack, wring]
3 make a groove in [syn: rout]

User Contributed Dictionary



Noun from gouge, itself from gulbia ( gubia), of or origins. Verb is from the noun.



  1. A chisel, with a curved blade, for scooping or cutting holes, channels, or grooves, in wood, stone, etc.
  2. A cut or groove, as left by something sharp.
    The nail left a deep gouge in the tire.


chisel for scooping
  • Finnish: koverrin
  • French: gouge
  • German: Hohlmeißel
cut or groove
  • French: gougeure, rainure
  • German: Rille, Furche


  • Online Etymology Dictionary}}


Extensive Definition

Gouge refers to one of several types of cutting tools, in addition to its meaning as a verb (the action of cutting or scooping with or as with a gouge) and its slang meaning (to cheat, defraud, swindle or extort) and, rarely, as a noun meaning a swindler (gouger).

In Antiquity

In archeology, a gouge is a bifacial or unifacial stone tool with a chisel-like working edge used for woodworking purposes; some may also have been used to remove marrow from bones. Gouges are generally triangular in shape, with the working edge—characteristically steep-angled—appearing at the wide base of the triangle. opposite edge, at the point of the triangle, was the hafted end; the tool itself was generally hafted at right angles to the handle.

Modern tools

A modern gouge is a tool similar to a chisel except its blade edge is not flat, but instead is curved or angled in cross-section. The modern version is generally hafted inline, the blade and handle typically having the same long axis. If the angle of the plane of the blade is on the outer surface of the curve the gouge is called an 'incannel' gouge, otherwise it is known as an 'outcannel' gouge. Gouges with angled rather than curved blades are often called 'V-gouges' or 'vee-parting tools'. Variations include 'crank-neck' gouges, 'spoon-bent' gouges, etc. Gouges are used in wood working and arts. For example, a violin luthier will use a gouge to carve the violin, a craftsmen may use it to scoop out wood for a project, or an artist may produce a piece of art by cutting some bits out of a sheet of linoleum (see also Linocut).

In martial arts

In martial arts or other hand-to-hand combat application, to gouge refers to the act of pulling or pressing certain sensitive areas on the opponent's body, typically using the fingers, but also sometimes with other bodyparts or instruments. Gouging can be accidental, or it can be used as a potent self-defense technique. The most typical types of gouging are fish-hooking and eye-gouging.

U.S. Navy Slang

In U.S. Navy jargon, gouge is the essential piece of information; the heart of the matter; or outstanding test-preparation material (such as an old test copy). A person who is tired of hearing all the extraneous information surrounding a problem might exclaim "Just give me the gouge!"
Originated at the U.S. Naval Academy and introduced from there into the wider navy, where it sees less frequent usage.
gouge in German: Hohleisen
gouge in Esperanto: Guĝo
gouge in Spanish: Gubia
gouge in French: Gouge

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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