\ ˈgəlp How to pronounce gulp (audio) \
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 Every year in October, the giant carp, which are put in the lake to keep down aquatic weeds, turn from eating vegetation to gulping down acorns that fall into the water from overhanging oaks. Frank Sargeant, al, "Hey, anglers, it’s time to go ‘fishing for squirrels’ in north Alabama," 9 Oct. 2019 Ten episodes you are expected to gulp down in a few days. Los Angeles Times, "Oversubscribed! Wasn’t cord-cutting supposed to streamline our lives?," 9 Oct. 2019 An uptick in inflation becomes a euro-gulping great white shark. The Economist, "Can Germany cool its monetary-policy debate?," 3 Oct. 2019 Floodwaters swamped more than half a million acres of forest and farmland in the lower Mississippi Delta more than six months ago, gulping up highways and homes, livestock and tractors. Rory Doyle, New York Times, "Where Floods of ‘Biblical Proportion’ Drowned Towns and Farms," 30 July 2019 Instantly, that motor kicks in, boosting the native engine’s horsepower and torque by roughly 50 percent and giving me an idea of how Popeye feels after gulping spinach. Alex Davies, WIRED, "A Very Fast Spin Through the Hills in a Hybrid Porsche 911," 10 June 2019 Turtles have built-in armor in the form of their iconic shells, and slugs produce an unappetizing mucus that no one is eager to gulp down for dinner. Hannah Lang, National Geographic, "World's slowest animals prove speed isn't everything," 25 Mar. 2019 Although this is not a particularly flattering metaphor, Nussbaum is like a ruminant, chewing and digesting her subject, when others are satisfied with gumming and gulping. Peter Biskind, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Author Emily Nussbaum sees the big picture on the small screen," 29 Aug. 2019 Bootes immediately got all his friends together for a wine-tasting party that quickly got out of hand and turned into a wine-gulping party. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: The summer hunter begins his long goodbye," 25 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for gulp

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gulp

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gulp.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for gulp


How to pronounce gulp (audio)

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 How to pronounce gulp (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on gulp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gulp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gulp

Spanish Central: Translation of gulp

Nglish: Translation of gulp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gulp for Arabic Speakers

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