gull·​ible | \ ˈgə-lə-bəl How to pronounce gullible (audio) \
variants: or less commonly gullable

Definition of gullible

: easily duped or cheated selling overpriced souvenirs to gullible tourists

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Other Words from gullible

gullibility \ ˌgə-​lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce gullibility (audio) \ noun
gullibly \ ˈgə-​lə-​blē How to pronounce gullibly (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

A recent commenter on our Web site asked, "Is gullibility a word"? Yes, it's entered as a run-on at our entry for "gullible," along with "gullibly." All three of these words descend from the verb gull, meaning "to deceive or take advantage of." The verb "gull" was borrowed into English from Anglo-French in the mid-16th century. Another relative is the noun "gull," referring to a person who is easy to cheat - no relation to the familiar word for a sea bird, which is of Celtic origin.

Examples of gullible in a Sentence

I'm not gullible enough to believe something that outrageous. They sell overpriced souvenirs to gullible tourists.

Recent Examples on the Web

Trump, the bet appears to be, will win new supporters with new sound-bites about being environmentally-friendly, because Americans are so gullible. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "The Trump White House tries to rewrite its own history on the environment," 9 July 2019 There were questions that the beneficiary of the GoFundMe account was not the real spitter, but some fake spitter just trying to play the victim and squeeze money out of gullible Trump-hating leftists. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: That waitress who spit on Eric Trump? She’s lucky I’m not king.," 30 June 2019 So take the Scotts' warning under advisement, and make sure your more gullible friends and family are aware, too. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "There's A Property Brothers Scam Circulating On The Internet," 25 Jan. 2019 Yet the left push these unverified and uncorroborated claims throughout the highest levels of our government right into the gullible media, their arm that pushes their propaganda. Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Jordan call on Rosenstein to testify," 27 Sep. 2018 Its occasional attempts at wryness result in a choking dryness, with the only levity coming from the arrival of a green and gullible cousin, Greg (Nicholas Braun), who attempts to ingratiate his way into this inner circle of snakes. Hank Stuever,, "In HBO's 'Succession,' a family so cruel you'll be sorry you ever met them," 1 June 2018 All that thieves need to do is hoodwink Philadelphia’s Records Department and its gullible and often careless deed room. Craig R. Mccoy,, "A Philadelphia story: Falsely declared dead, home stolen and no one will help," 29 June 2018 Its tone was both awed and suspicious, with constant references to a hot, possibly gullible, market in contemporary art. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 While poor, white, Southern voters were easily conned into believing that a billionaire trust fund baby from New York with multiple bankruptcies under his belt was a business savant who understood their plight, black voters are not that gullible. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Black People Aren’t Stupid: The False Notion That Kanye and Kim Are Helping Trump Win Black Voters," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gullible.' 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 gullible

1818, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gullible

see gull entry 2

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Dictionary Entries near gullible

gullet worm


gull gray





Statistics for gullible

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for gullible

The first known use of gullible was in 1818

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More Definitions for gullible



English Language Learners Definition of gullible

: easily fooled or cheated especially : quick to believe something that is not true


gull·​ible | \ ˈgə-lə-bəl How to pronounce gullible (audio) \

Kids Definition of gullible

: easily fooled or cheated

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More from Merriam-Webster on gullible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gullible

Spanish Central: Translation of gullible

Nglish: Translation of gullible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gullible for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gullible

What made you want to look up gullible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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