\ 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

To breathe below the surface, most fish gulp down water, sending oxygen circulating throughout the body via blood vessels found in the animal’s gill chambers. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Coffinfish Can Hold Their Breath for Up to Four Minutes on the Ocean Floor," 1 July 2019 An often sobering and frequently funny examination of obsession, loss, and loneliness in America, Killing and Dying is a book that can be gulped down in a couple of hours but is worth savoring. The Atlantic, "What We’re Reading This Summer," 28 June 2019 The sargassum fish immediately gulped it down in its large mouth. David Doubilet, National Geographic, "Life in the North Atlantic depends on this floating seaweed," 12 June 2019 Yet the big challenge Wright, whose own residence has also been gulped up and rendered unlivable, is now grappling with is how and when to allow people to come back in safely. Fox News, "Forcibly evacuated and destroyed: a small Oklahoma town almost washed from the map in historic floods," 5 June 2019 To avoid putting your dog's health in danger, try your best to prevent your dog from consuming salt of any kind, including gulping on saltwater while playing in the ocean. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "6-Year-Old Dog Dies From Saltwater Poisoning After a Playful Day at the Beach," 20 July 2018 The America's Got Talent live shows have begun, which means the fate of the performers is now officially in the country's hands (gulp). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Winner Darci Lynne Farmer Almost Didn't Become a Ventriloquist," 15 Aug. 2018 In that case, gulping a bunch of cold air (or running into some other asthma trigger) can make your airways inflamed and narrow, über-mucous-y, and also make the muscles around them constrict, the NHLBI explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s Why It Hurts So Much to Breathe Cold Air," 19 Oct. 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,, "Are teens consuming too many sports drinks?," 7 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

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gulp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gulp

Spanish Central: Translation of gulp

Nglish: Translation of gulp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gulp for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gulp

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characterized by aphorism

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