gull·​ible | \ ˈgə-lə-bəl \
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 \ noun
gullibly \ ˈgə-​lə-​blē \ 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

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 But poor, gullible Grump is easily duped by the Evil Queen who orders him to verify that Snow White has been killed. The Christian Science Monitor, "4 delightful new books for middle-grade readers," 7 June 2018 This deceptive and disingenuous nonsense is rampant in the marketing materials aimed at gullible and desperate consumers. Barry Ritholtz,, "A millionaire mindset never made anyone rich," 6 Apr. 2018 To believe his initial college choice was not strongly influenced by a shoe company payoff falls somewhere between gullible and delusional. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA makes Brian Bowen seem a victim | Tim Sullivan," 30 May 2018 But sharks do look very scary, and the right combination of dramatic video and ominous music could persuade a gullible television viewer to fear and even hate them. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Fears Sharks Because He’ll Believe Anything TV Tells Him," 19 Jan. 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





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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 \

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

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