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Goth

Goth name of a Germanic tribe prominent in Europe A.D. III-V. OE. Gota, usu. in pl. Gotan, was superseded in ME. (XIV) by the adoption of late and medL. Gothī pl. = Gr. Gót(t)hoi pl. — Goth. *Gutōs or *Gutans pl.
So Gothic pert. to the Goths; †Germanic, Teutonic; †medieval, romantic, of the Dark Ages; spec. of the style of architecture characterized particularly by the pointed arch; †barbarous, savage; black-letter (type). XVII. — F. gothique or late L. Gothicus.

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Goth

Goth / gä[unvoicedth]/ • n. 1. a member of a Germanic people that invaded the Roman Empire from the east between the 3rd and 5th centuries. The eastern division, the Ostrogoths, founded a kingdom in Italy, while the Visigoths went on to found one in Spain. 2. (goth) a style of rock music derived from punk, typically with apocalyptic or mystical lyrics. ∎  a member of a subculture favoring black clothing, white and black makeup, and goth music.

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Goth

Goth a member of a Germanic people that invaded the Roman Empire from the east between the 3rd and 5th centuries. The eastern division, the Ostrogoths, founded a kingdom in Italy, while the Visigoths went on to found one in Spain.

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Goth

Gothbroth, cloth, froth, Goth, moth, Roth, wrath •Sabaoth • Visigoth •backcloth, sackcloth •saddlecloth • waxcloth • grasscloth •haircloth • J-cloth • sailcloth •tablecloth • facecloth • cheesecloth •dishcloth • washcloth • oilcloth •loincloth • hawkmoth

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Goth

Goth

Although members of this youth subculture may differ in their own definitions, goth can be characterized by a fascination with all things otherworldly, from vampires to magic and beyond. Like punk, goth comprises a musical genre as well as an attitude, represented by somber acts like Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, Christian Death, and Faith and the Muse. Often perceived by the general public as little more than "kids who wear black clothes," the goth scene is in fact a fusion of attitudes stemming from the sublime emotion of Romantic poetry, the macabre images of decadent Victorian poetry, and the contempt for normative bourgeois complacency found in the punk movement. While it is true that goth has been centered around themes of death and morbidity, what often goes unnoticed is goth's sense of humor—albeit a decidedly black one.

—Shaun Frentner

Further Reading:

Edmundson, Mark. Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Sadomasochism, and the Culture of the Gothic. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1997.

Mercer, Mick. The Hex Files: The Goth Bible. New York, Overlook Press, 1996.

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