Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A style of rock music, noted especially for somber or ethereal tones and lugubrious lyrics.
  • n. A performer or follower of this style of music.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A punk-derived subculture of people who predominately dress in black.
  • n. (music) A style of glam rock influenced punk rock; gothic rock.
  • n. A person who is part of the goth subculture.
  • adj. Relating to this music or these people.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of an ancient Teutonic race, who dwelt between the Elbe and the Vistula in the early part of the Christian era, and who overran and took an important part in subverting the Roman empire.
  • n. One who is rude or uncivilized; a barbarian; a rude, ignorant person.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of an ancient Teutonic race which appeared in the regions of the lower Danube in the third century a. d.
  • n. One who is rude or uncivilized; a barbarian; a rude, ignorant person; one defective in taste: from the character of the Goths during their early irruptions into Roman territory.
  • n. A ‘barbarian’ in matters of literature or art.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one of the Teutonic people who invaded the Roman Empire in the 3rd to 5th centuries
  • n. a crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking culture or refinement

Etymologies

From Gothic (from a view of Gothic styles or genres as dark or gloomy).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Goth (person of a Germanic culture), influenced by Gothic in the sense of a black horror novel. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It must've been around this time (79?) that the term goth was coined.

    Word Magazine - Comments

  • If there's an instinctive cringe when the term goth is invoked, that's because too many people have a narrow and reductive idea of what it represents.

    NME.COM - News

  • A kind of self-worship in goth regalia, cribbed from Rand, Nietzsche and with a sprinkling of Crowley.

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • Nicole, my dear, you are as ignorant as can be. the Japanese view “goth” differently than Americans. they are not the “American Goth” there are many different kinds. and how dare you decide whats goth or not? stupid girl. goth is all in your head. and apparently yours isnt screwed on very tightly. and Charlotte you are a sad little person. you have aggrivated one of my severe pet peeves.

    Harajuku – Japanese Fashion

  • Besides, all the rabid fan-people are scaring me with their quoting of chapter and verse and their cute little PhotoShop renderings of Hogwarts kids in goth regalia, and what if I read these books and turn into a crazed fan-person too -- and then when will I find time to SLEEP, much less write books of my OWN???

    November 21st, 2005

  • We won't use the word goth because nobody seems to like it anymore, but, on Saturday, July 31, dark and seductive sounds and looks of all sorts will be plentiful around town.

    LA Weekly | Complete Issue

  • I'm gonna forgo any kind of comparison of this song (which you heard a while back when I posted about it) to any other kind of song, genre, etc. because last time around I started a whole thread about what is and is not "goth" - so forget it.

    'nother Contest (Music (For Robots))

  • NIGHTMARES AND FAIRY TALES #12 - Another consistently selling "goth"-type comic.

    Archive 2005-03-06

  • As others have said, some so-called goth bands sometimes don't sound very 'goth' at all.

    Word Magazine - Comments

  • Although, as I stood in the crowd of overwhelmingly "goth" - inspired folk (my friends and I had really, by & large, not worn the properly dark or outrageously coordinated attire worn by the typical "Ottobarian" participant), the emotion I found myself nearly overcome by was love.

    Blogtimore, Hon

Comments

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  • friend were telling me that they use to be goth.

    October 31, 2010

  • The most recent citation in that sense offered by OED2 is from 1870 (or 1887 for Goth-like). Does anyone still use the word in that way?

    June 29, 2008

  • Tell me how you really feel, WeirdNet.

    June 29, 2008