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 The people who cheered on Jones that day, the gullible and aggrieved, are Brehm’s natural constituency. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Brehm is now an outcast in her own party," 5 June 2020 The more one reads the essay, the more one suspects that Poe’s account is a typical Poe hoax, swallowed whole by gullible readers as his circumstantial account of crossing the Atlantic in a balloon was by the New York Sun. Gregory Hays, The New York Review of Books, "Horace’s How-To," 27 May 2020 The gullible public are just conduits to get to those institutions’ cash. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "No, it turns out that caller is not really interested in lowering your credit card rates," 21 Mar. 2020 But here’s the thing: Millennials aren’t even much less gullible! Chicago Tribune Staff,, "tl;dr: Chicago’s top 50 restaurants, farewell to Sporty the dog and a test to prove how Chicago you are," 21 Nov. 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide Most accounts of the hoax point out that in the 1950s, spaghetti was still a fairly exotic food in the UK, as an explanation for why audiences proved so gullible. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "BBC’s 1957 April Fool’s “spaghetti-tree hoax” is more relevant than ever," 1 Apr. 2020 Settlers and traders fleeced the gullible Nicobarese, rapidly emptying their bank accounts. Scientific American, "How Disaster Aid Ravaged an Island People," 25 Mar. 2020 Cognitive scientists have identified a number of common ways in which people avoid being gullible. Barry M. Mitnick, The Conversation, "Why do people believe con artists?," 21 Feb. 2020 Recall how gullible — and therefore misleading to the public — the news media was in March when Attorney General William Barr characterized the unreleased report in a four-page letter. Washington Post, "The media is getting second chance to cover Robert Mueller’s findings — and this time get it right.," 22 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for gullible

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The first known use of gullible was in 1818

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gullible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for gullible


How to pronounce gullible (audio)

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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