To gouge can mean to make a hole or dent in something, or to swindle or steal by overcharging. If your local gas station raises prices because a storm is coming, you may say that the station owner is gouging you — and that's illegal.

The verb gouge means to cut or carve. You can use special chisels to gouge linoleum for interesting design in printing. As a noun, a gouge is the tool you would use — instead of a flat-head chisel, a gouge has a trough — to make the gouge marks of the design. Another meaning of the verb gouge is an indentation in the surface of something. If you're not careful with the screwdriver, you'll accidentally gouge a hole in the wall.

Definitions of gouge

n an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)

dent, ding, nick
a small gouge (as in the cover of a book)
Type of:
blemish, defect, mar
a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)

n and edge tool with a blade like a trough for cutting channels or grooves

Type of:
edge tool
any cutting tool with a sharp cutting edge (as a chisel or knife or plane or gouge)

n the act of gouging

Type of:
creating by removal
the act of creating by removing something

v force with the thumb

gouge out his eyes”
force out
Type of:
mar, mutilate
destroy or injure severely

v make a groove in

Type of:
core out, hollow, hollow out
remove the interior of

v swindle; obtain by coercion or intimidation

extort, rack, squeeze, wring
get or extort (money or other possessions) from someone
Type of:
fleece, gazump, hook, overcharge, pluck, plume, rob, soak, surcharge
rip off; ask an unreasonable price

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