\ 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
4 : a wide gap the gulf between generations


gulfed; gulfing; gulfs

Definition of gulf (Entry 2 of 2)

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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 great gulf of time and space that separates us from the first inhabitants of North America Verb with the administration gulfed by so many real problems, it's absurd for the president to concern himself with this nonissue
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s fried gulf shrimp with a tamarind-lime dipping sauce that’s pungent and sweet. Allie Wist, Bon Appétit, "Go to This Karaoke Bar for ABBA Hits and Stellar Vietnamese Food," 14 Nov. 2019 Jenkins led discussions with then-Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Jassim al Thani, which resulted in an investment totaling from the gulf state’s sovereign-wealth fund and Sheikh Hamad, lawyers from the UK Serious Fraud Office said., "Plans for innovation campus in South Boston scaled back," 17 Oct. 2019 Look out for the seafood tower with lobster, oysters, king crab and jumbo gulf shrimp; the Asian BBQ baos with braised Korean barbecue short ribs; and the Lobster Mac with a four-cheese sauce. Grace Wong,, "Soul food in Garfield Park, South Indian dosas in the Loop, plus more Chicago restaurant openings," 9 Oct. 2019 The gulf-front project calls for six cottages with a pool, according to city planners. Kathy Jumper, al, "Investors buy industrial property," 15 Sep. 2019 No biological gulf separates all people who identify as white from those identifying as Asian, or all African-Americans from all Native Americans. Charles King, Time, "American Students Are Taught Racism Is Bad—But They're Still Not Learning the Truth About Race," 6 Aug. 2019 The United States and Britain have accused Iran of sabotaging six tankers in a tacit threat to gulf shipping routes. Stephen Castle,, "UK warns Iran of ‘serious consequences’ for seizing oil tanker," 20 July 2019 On its best days, the simple fried oyster and gulf shrimp po’ boys at PoBoyz are as good as any in town, maybe better, with juicy, pristine, fried seafood sharing space with tomato, lettuce and remoulade on fluffy rolls. Michael Russell,, "When it’s on, PoBoyz’ po’ boy sandwich is the best in Portland," 25 June 2019 The Chesapeake kettle, a gluten- and dairy-free dish, comes in a hulking, wide bowl and is packed with crab claws, tender Virginia clams, mussels, gulf shrimp, red potatoes, an entire ear of roasted corn in a J.O. spice broth. John-john Williams Iv,, "Touting Maryland's best lobster roll, Walrus Oyster & Ale House lives up to the hype," 4 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So many gulfs separate us now: geographical, anatomical, psychological. Ferris Jabr, Smithsonian, "It’s Official: Fish Feel Pain," 8 Jan. 2018

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.

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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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Time Traveler for gulf

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gulf

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gulf.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for gulf


How to pronounce gulf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gulf

: a large area of ocean that is partly surrounded by land
: a difference between two people, groups, or things


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gulf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gulf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gulf

Spanish Central: Translation of gulf

Nglish: Translation of gulf for Spanish Speakers

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

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