goose-step [goos-step] ExamplesWord Origin verb (used without object), goose-stepped, goose-step·ping.

  1. to march in a goose step: Troops goose-stepped past the reviewing stand.

Origin of goose-step First recorded in 1875–80 Related formsgoose-step·per, noun goose step noun

  1. a marching step of some infantries in which the legs are swung high and kept straight and stiff.
  2. a military exercise in which the body is balanced on one foot, without advancing, while the other foot is swung forward and back.

Origin of goose step First recorded in 1800–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 Examples from the Web for goose-step Historical Examples of goose-step

  • When all the dances had ended, the dancers marched out with the goose-step.

    The Chinese Fairy Book


  • It was fun watching the new recruits learning the goose-step.

    Germany in War Time

    Mary Ethel McAuley

  • I laughed outright at one poor chap who was trying to goose-step.

    Germany in War Time

    Mary Ethel McAuley

  • He’s a soldier, he is—not a raw recruit that don’t know the goose-step.

    The Lost Prince

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • We’ll all have to goose-step as the Crown Prince orders or—be shot.

    The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II

    Burton J. Hendrick

  • British Dictionary definitions for goose-step goose step noun

    1. a military march step in which the leg is swung rigidly to an exaggerated height, esp as in the German army in the Third Reich
    2. an abnormal gait in animals

    verb goose-step -steps, -stepping or -stepped

    1. (intr) to march in goose step

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Word Origin and History for goose-step goose step n.

    1806, originally was a military drill to teach balance; “to stand on each leg alternately and swing the other back and forth” (which, presumably, reminded someone of a goose’s way of walking); in reference to “marching without bending the knees” (as in Nazi military reviews) it apparently is first recorded 1916. As a verb by 1854.

    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper goose-step in Culture goose step

    A straight-legged style of military marching used by the armies of several nations, but associated particularly with the army of Germany under the Nazis.

    Note The term is sometimes used to suggest the unthinking loyalty of followers or soldiers: “Brown has a goose-step mentality.” The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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