Gossip is defined as a conversation whether oral or written that is catty and can be very damaging. Gossip requires that persons create and repeat rumors about a certain individual who is not part of the conversation. As such, the person being gossiped about is unable to present his or her side about the item being discussed.
In most cases, the topic being gossiped about has no basis or is intended to portray a person in a negative light. Gossiping is common among people even among friends, acquaintances and family members.
People who gossip in most cases do not know that they are spreading gossips and do not consider themselves as gossips. Most people who gossip think that they are simply reporting events or giving out information that was provided by a different source who is not the person being talked about.
The people who indulge in gossiping do not take responsibility for the information that is being shared. But people who gossip may not necessarily have malicious intent such as putting the object of gossip in a bad light. Some may repeat a rumor about someone close which may be going through rough times out of genuine concern.
Generally, gossips are based on conjecture or speculation about what happened and the character of a person rather than on factual items that can be proved.
Gossip is a favorite past time of many and these people are not aware that they are already engaging in gossips.
Officemates, for example, may make it a habit to talk about fellow workers or their bosses. Family members may share stories about a certain member of their family that might put the person in a negative light. And friends may exchange tidbits of information about another friend who is not present in such a discussion.