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From Middle English gagelen (to cackle; cackle like a goose). Compare Dutch gaggelen (to cackle), Icelandic gagl (small goose; gosling).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡæɡl̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɡəl
  • Hyphenation: gag‧gle


gaggle (plural gaggles)

  1. (collective) A group of geese when they are on the ground or on the water.
    • 2011, Denise A. White, The Goose and the Crone, AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 11:
      The Canada geese always flew over the 80 acre lake; it was a landmark on their route and a stopping point for many a gaggle, where many hours were spent after feeding in the farmers' fields.
  2. (by extension) Any group or gathering of related things.
    Synonym: bunch
    • 2014 June 7, Vicki Woods, “Sadness, and a surprise, at the 9/11 Museum”, in The Daily Telegraph[1], page 24:
      There were no signs and no one quite knew how to navigate the museum, including, as it was Fleet Week, gaggles of boyish sailors all in their summer whites. It looked like a Frank Sinatra movie.
    • 2019 December 12, Chris Baraniuk, “Crows could be the smartest animal other than primates”, in BBC Future[2]:
      The crow’s name was Betty. And she was on her way to stardom. A gaggle of Oxford University scientists watched in wonder as she casually picked up a piece of wire in her cage and then used a nearby object to bend it at one end, transforming the wire into a hooked tool.

Derived terms[edit]



gaggle (third-person singular simple present gaggles, present participle gaggling, simple past and past participle gaggled)

  1. To make a noise like a goose; to cackle.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
      Geese do gaggle
    • 1733, Jonathan Swift, "A New Simile for the Ladies with Useful Annotations by Dr. Sheridan", note 7 (in The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Vol. II):
      When a friend asked Socrates, how he could bear the scolding of his wife Xantippe? he retorted, and asked him, how he could bear the gaggling of his geese?


See also[edit]