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Alternative forms[edit]


Goth +‎ -ic, English from the 17th century, ad Latin gothicus.

The various usages of the adjective are introduced nearly simultaneously in the first half of the 17th century. The literal meaning "of the Goths" is found in the 1611 preface of the King James Bible, in reference to the Gothicke tongue. The generalized meaning of "Germanic, Teutonic" appears in the 1640s. Reference to the medieval period in Western Europe, and specifically the architecture of that period, also appears in the 1640s, as does reference to "Gothic characters" or "Gothic letters" in typography.


Proper noun[edit]


  1. an extinct Germanic language, once spoken by the Goths

Derived terms[edit]



Gothic (comparative more Gothic, superlative most Gothic)

  1. of or relating to the Goths.
  2. barbarous, rude, unpolished, belonging to the "Dark Ages", medieval as opposed to classical.
    • 1812 letter, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prose Works, volume II, quoted in OED, published 1888, page 384:
      Enormities which gleam like comets through the darkness of gothic and superstitious ages.
  3. of or relating to the architectural style favored in western Europe in the 12th to 16th centuries.
  4. of or relating to the style of fictional writing associated with the Gothic revival, emphasizing violent or macabre events in a mysterious, desolate setting.
  5. (typography) in England, of the name of type formerly used to print, at last, German, also known as black letter.
  6. (typography) in the USA, of a sans serif typeface using straight, even-width lines, also called grotesque
  7. of or relating to the goth subculture or lifestyle.
    • 1983, New Musical Express, 24 December 1983, in OED
      Why is this gothic glam so popular?



Gothic (plural Gothics)

  1. A novel written in the Gothic style.
    • 1996, Nora Sayre, Sixties going on seventies, page 180:
      One hundred fifty Gothics sold over 1.5 million copies a month last spring.

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