\ˈgəlp \
gulped; gulping; gulps

Definition of gulp 

transitive verb

1 : to swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one swallow

2 : to keep back as if by swallowing gulp down a sob

3 : to take in readily as if by swallowing gulp down knowledge

intransitive verb

: to catch the breath as if in taking a long drink

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Other Words from gulp

gulp noun
gulper noun

Examples of gulp in a Sentence

She told him not to gulp his food. The exhausted racers lay on the ground, gulping air. The exhausted racers were gulping for air. I gulped nervously before beginning my speech. “That's a lot of money,” she gulped. He gulped back tears as he thanked the rescuers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The all-electric race car not only set a new record for EVs, but set the fastest time ever, by any car, even ones with high-performance, gas-gulping, engines. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Neat Engineering VW Used to Smash the Pikes Peak Record," 25 June 2018 These flies are easy prey for fish, who rise to the surface of the river and open their gulping fish mouths to suck in the bugs. Heather Radke, Longreads, "A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing With Your Father," 16 June 2018 Here are some top spots to enjoy Independence Day, plus a list of community celebrations for everyone, whether your thing is watching fireworks, gulping oysters or growing a marvelous mustache. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "We go inside Amazon’s warehouse world, plus Kam Chancellor retires from the NFL | Monday Morning Brief, July 2," 2 July 2018 Since the advent of Philadelphia’s tax on sweetened beverages, Philadelphians are 64 percent less likely to gulp down a sports drink, researchers at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University concluded. Mari A. Schaefer,, "Teens are drinking more sports drinks. Experts say that's not a good thing.," 11 May 2018 Some gulp with pickles still in the jar, irking nondrinkers. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "Done Hiding Their Shameful Secret, Pickle-Juice Drinkers Go Public," 28 June 2018 Gaping holes are still showing up across the nation, gulping at cars and even a semi. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Neighborhood crime may not be as bad as some Seattleites fear and Amazon buys online pharmacy | Thursday Morning Brief, June 28," 28 June 2018 So the runoff would feature, gulp, two Republicans. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Clout City / Politics / News Could Dems survive without Michael Madigan at the top?," 11 June 2018 And the assembled German bikers are eating weisswurst and pretzels, gulping glasses of German pilsner rather than cans of Miller Lite. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Beer and Bikes in the Black Forest—And All for a Good Cause," 31 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for gulp

Middle English, from a Middle Dutch or Middle Low German word akin to Dutch & Frisian gulpen to bubble forth, drink deep; akin to Old English gielpan to boast — more at yelp

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Statistics for gulp

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Time Traveler for gulp

The first known use of gulp was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for gulp



English Language Learners Definition of gulp

: to eat or swallow (something) quickly or in large amounts

: to take (air) into your lungs quickly

: to swallow because of strong emotion (such as fear or shock)


\ˈgəlp \
gulped; gulping

Kids Definition of gulp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to swallow in a hurry or in large amounts at a time

2 : to breathe in deeply Roy turned his head away to gulp some fresh air.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot

3 : to keep back as if by swallowing He gulped down a sob.

4 : to say in a nervous way “Oops,” she gulped.



Kids Definition of gulp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of swallowing or breathing deeply

2 : a large swallow

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Comments on gulp

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


to express warning or disapproval

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