1 of 3

noun (1)

: any of numerous long-winged web-footed aquatic birds (subfamily Larinae of the family Laridae)
especially : a usually gray and white bird (especially of the genus Larus) differing from a tern in usually larger size, stouter build, thicker somewhat hooked bill, less pointed wings, and short unforked tail


2 of 3


gulled; gulling; gulls

transitive verb

: to take advantage of (one who is foolish or unwary) : deceive


3 of 3

noun (2)

: a person who is easily deceived or cheated : dupe

Example Sentences

Verb we were gulled into believing that if we answered the e-mail, we'd somehow become millionaires, but instead we just got put on a list for junk mail
Recent Examples on the Web
Users can choose from a handful of solid, neutral colors, including gull gray and black, all of which are available in sizes twin through California king. Amy Schulman, Peoplemag, 15 May 2023 Slowing to a halt, the vessel sways and sea gulls circle while the traps are winched on board and emptied, with shiny black lobsters and muddy brown crabs pulled free and stored on deck. Stephen Castle Andrew Testa, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2023 Elsewhere in Fairhaven, there was a glaucous gull at Fort Phoenix and an early willow flycatcher on Egypt Lane., 7 May 2022 The gull and mussels tested low for toxic algae, but the salmon liver was hot. Karen Pinchin, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2022 On a Zodiac ride off Alkefjellet, the air is alive with birds, including tens of thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots as well as glaucous gulls and kittiwakes, which nest in that island’s cliffs, while a young male polar bear munches on a ring seal, chin glistening red. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 23 Apr. 2023 Here, instead, flocks of gulls circled overhead, and an occasional pelican. Mylène Dressler, Longreads, 11 Apr. 2023 The gulls are in Anchorage; that is definitely one sign of warmer weather to come. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Apr. 2023 Even now, declining water levels during the current drought are exposing more alkaline lake bed and threatening to again uncover a land bridge connecting the island rookery for one of the world’s three largest California gull colonies. Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2021
O’Rourke is the underdog in his race against Republican Abbott, who has been casting the Democrat as a flip-flopper who is trying to gull Texas voters. Dallas News, 2 Apr. 2022 Following their successful effort to gull California voters into endorsing their method of exploiting their drivers and field workers, Uber, Lyft and other gig companies expanded their campaign to gut labor protections into other states. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2022 Instead of clearly setting the record straight, Abbott and other Texas leaders have allowed Trump to continue to gull Texans about last year’s elections. Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2021 The idea was that Biden would be too experienced, too grounded in reality, too committed to the truth out of principle, too respectful of the American public to paint rosy scenarios to try to gull Americans into an unwarranted optimism. Rich Lowry, National Review, 20 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gull.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh gwylan gull


obsolete gull gullet, from Middle English golle, from Anglo-French gule, gole

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gull was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near gull

Cite this Entry

“Gull.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
: any of numerous mostly white or gray birds that have long wings and webbed feet and are typically found near water


2 of 3 verb
: to take advantage of : deceive


3 of 3 noun
: a person easily deceived or cheated : dupe


Middle English gull "gull"; of Celtic origin


from obsolete English gull "gullet"

More from Merriam-Webster on gull

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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