gasp

verb
\ ˈgasp How to pronounce gasp (audio) \
gasped; gasping; gasps

Definition of gasp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to catch the breath convulsively and audibly (as with shock)
2 : to breathe laboriously

transitive verb

: to utter in a gasping manner

gasp

noun
plural gasps

Definition of gasp (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of gasping : a sudden loud intake of breath with one's mouth because of surprise, shock, pain, etc. He let out an audible gasp at the sight of the snake. a gasp of surprise His eyes looked wild and strange from the fever; he trembled continuously, and each breath he took sounded like a gasp for life.— Robert C. O'Brien In the next hour Lemieux drew gasps from the crowd half a dozen more times …— E. M. Swift

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Other Words from gasp

Verb

gasp noun

Synonyms for gasp

Synonyms: Verb

blow, heave, hyperventilate, pant, puff, wheeze

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Examples of gasp in a Sentence

Verb

Mom gasped in surprise at the sight of my sister's new haircut. He gasped as he stepped into the icy water. a dying man gasping for breath She was gasping for air.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The prisoners huddled together, screamed together, gasped for air together. Jay Winik, WSJ, "Trump’s Critics Desecrate the Holocaust," 21 June 2018 But the end result is the same: gasping for breath, swollen legs, a weakening heart. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "He had 2 heart transplants. At 43, as a new dad, he needed a third," 13 June 2018 The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "Trump Orders Strikes on Syria Over Chemical Weapons," 13 Apr. 2018 For one thing, people with sleep apnea might snore, choke, or gasp for air in their sleep, and this can happen anywhere from five to 30 times or more each hour, all night, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Houston Astros Pitcher Josh James Discovered His 'Laziness' Was Actually a Symptom of Sleep Apnea," 19 Oct. 2018 People in the crowd watching the incident could be heard gasping and cursing as the TV just barely missed her. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "'Inch away from death.' TV tossed from frat house roof nearly lands on woman, videos show," 5 July 2018 As the man gasped for air and as the corridor filled with smoke, the aide put the fire out, an inspection report states. Sam Roe, chicagotribune.com, "Inside Chicago's worst nursing home: bug bites, bruises and death," 13 June 2018 But Ali’s wife, seated in the courtroom’s front row, gasped and began weeping. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Seth Williams' Bentley-driving Bucks County benefactor gets 18 months in prison," 29 Mar. 2018 The audience gasped, but at least J.Lo seemed more flattered than annoyed. Vogue, "The Most Shocking Golden Globe Moments of All Time," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gasp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gasp

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1529, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gasp

Verb

Middle English; akin to Old Norse geispa to yawn

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Statistics for gasp

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gasp

The first known use of gasp was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for gasp

gasp

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gasp

: to breathe in suddenly and loudly with your mouth open because of surprise, shock, or pain
: to breathe with difficulty
: to say (something) with quick, difficult breaths

gasp

verb
\ ˈgasp How to pronounce gasp (audio) \
gasped; gasping

Kids Definition of gasp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to breathe in suddenly and loudly with the mouth open because of surprise, shock, or pain I could see … spectators gasping at moves no human had ever made before.— Jerry Spinelli, Crash
2 : to breathe with difficulty : pant The runners were gasping after the race.
3 : to utter with quick difficult breaths “I think we're lost,” she gasped.

gasp

noun

Kids Definition of gasp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of breathing in suddenly or with difficulty I heard the crowd's loud gasp.
2 : something gasped He let out a gasp of surprise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on gasp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gasp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gasp

Spanish Central: Translation of gasp

Nglish: Translation of gasp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gasp for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gasp

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