See also: gothic

English edit

A leaf of the Codex Ambrosianus B, which contains examples of the Gothic language
The Gothic (Naenia typica)

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Late Latin gothicus (Gothic, barbaric), from Ancient Greek Γοτθικός (Gotthikós), from Ancient Greek Γότθοι (Gótthoi, Goths) + -ικός (-ikós, -ic), proposed to derive from unattested Gothic *𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌰 (*guta). Equivalent to Goth +‎ -ic. 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 (“barbaric style”, initially a term of abuse), also appears in the 1640s, as does reference to “Gothic characters” or “Gothic letters” in typography.

Pronunciation edit

Proper noun edit


  1. An extinct Germanic language, once spoken by the Goths.
  2. Certain moths of the family Noctuidae.
  3. A particular species of moth of the family Noctuidae, Naenia typica.

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See also edit

Adjective edit

Gothic (comparative more Gothic, superlative most Gothic)

  1. Of or relating to the Goths or their language. [from 1611]
  2. (figuratively) Barbarous, rude, unpolished, belonging to the “Dark Ages”, medieval as opposed to classical.
    Synonyms: barbarous, medieval, rude, unpolished
    Antonym: classical
    • 1782, Frances Burney, Cecilia, II.iii.6:
      “[W]hat he holds of all things to be most gothic, is gallantry to the women.”
    • 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. (architecture) Of or relating to the architectural style favored in Western Europe in the 12th to 16th centuries, with high-pointed arches, clustered columns, etc. [from 1640s]
    Coordinate terms: Romanesque, Baroque
    Gothic arches
    • 1944 January and February, C. F. Cobon, “The County of London Plan”, in Railway Magazine, page 24:
      Or does the L.C.C. [London County Council] dislike nineteenth century Gothic?
    • 2000, Paul Frankl, Paul Crossley, Gothic Architecture, Yale University Press, →ISBN, page 258:
      The Gothic style did not cease to exist: it did, however, cease to be all-powerful, and it almost ceased to create new forms. Gothic architects had by this time drawn every possible conclusion from the premises which had been laid down []
  4. (literature) Of or relating to the style of fictional writing associated with Gothic fiction, emphasizing violent or macabre events in a mysterious, desolate setting. [from early 19th c.]
    Gothic tales
    • 1975, John V. Murphy, The Dark Angel: Gothic Elements in Shelley's Works, Bucknell University Press, →ISBN, page 9:
      Shelley's two early novels Zastrozzi and St. Irvyne are, as many scholars have noted, obviously connected to the tradition of the Gothic novel; as well, two volumes of early poetry contain Gothic elements and his tragedy The Cenci has been []
  5. (typography, England) Synonym of black letter
    Gothic letters
  6. (typography, US) Of a sans serif typeface using straight, even-width lines, also known as grotesque.
  7. Of or relating to the goth subculture, music or lifestyle. [from 1980s]
    Synonym: goth
    Coordinate terms: punk, post-punk, industrial
    Gothic rock
    Gothic dress
    • 1983 December 24, “OED”, in New Musical Express:
      Why is this gothic glam so popular?

Synonyms edit

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Noun edit

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.

Further reading edit