\ ˈgəlf How to pronounce gulf (audio) \

Definition of gulf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part of an ocean or sea extending into the land
2 : a deep chasm : abyss
3 : whirlpool
4 : a wide gap the gulf between generations


gulfed; gulfing; gulfs

Definition of gulf (Entry 2 of 2)

Synonyms & Antonyms for gulf

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of gulf in a Sentence

Noun we dipped our feet in the warm waters of the gulf the gulf of understanding between the two men was too wide for them to ever get along Verb with the administration gulfed by so many real problems, it's absurd for the president to concern himself with this nonissue
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The shot continually cited in much of the online comparison between the two royal couples shows a gulf of distance between Prince William and Princess Kate, but there were many, many more shots from the same walkabout. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 13 Sep. 2022 The geography of empire always includes a gulf of hypocrisy between the metropolis and the provinces. Dominic Green, WSJ, 7 June 2022 But there remains a gulf in perception across Europe between west and east, big and small. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 But how much does the probability that Musk can free himself justify the gulf between Twitter’s current price and the $50-plus purchase that most experts deem most likely? Shawn Tully, Fortune, 27 Aug. 2022 But the proposals that Chinese scholars have put forward on Taiwan highlight the gulf between what Beijing seems to have in mind, and what most Taiwanese could accept. New York Times, 7 Aug. 2022 The gulf separating Iran and the US has grown wider since the last round of nuclear talks in Vienna, European Union diplomats said as the latest negotiations resume. Jonathan Tirone,, 4 Aug. 2022 But the non-public data behind the topline number show a gulf between the prevailing conditions affecting those who moved residences and those who didn’t . Somesh Jha, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2022 There’s a huge gulf between the testosterone ranges of men and women. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So many gulfs separate us now: geographical, anatomical, psychological. Ferris Jabr, Smithsonian, 8 Jan. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of gulf


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1807, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gulf


Middle English goulf, from Middle French golfe, from Italian golfo, from Late Latin colpus, from Greek kolpos bosom, gulf; akin to Old English hwealf vault, Old High German walbo

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The first known use of gulf was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near gulf



Gulf coast tick

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gulf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for gulf


\ ˈgəlf How to pronounce gulf (audio) \

Kids Definition of gulf

1 : a part of an ocean or sea that extends into the land the Gulf of Mexico
2 : a deep split or gap in the earth
3 : a wide separation … so wide sometimes is the gulf between theory and practice.— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

More from Merriam-Webster on gulf

Nglish: Translation of gulf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gulf for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gulf


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