\ 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 Writer Paul Salopek and photographer John Stanmeyer tried to get their heads around one mind-numbing fact: Roughly 100 million people in India may gulp their last groundwater dry by year’s end. John Stanmeyer, National Geographic, "When the drinking water disappears," 17 July 2020 As voting ends, a female member of the Academy's actors branch, granted anonymity to speak freely, shares which films earn her precious vote (and — gulp — why). The Hollywood Reporter, "Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot: 'Irishman' "Was Boring," Tarantino "Amazing," "I Want an American Director to Win"," 4 Feb. 2020 Eventually, like every other inner, rocky planet in our solar system, Venus will be gulped up by the sun. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Venus, Earth's Boiling Twin," 5 Jan. 2020 Jin goes second, gulping down a massive glass of orange juice. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS Takes on ASMR in New "Run BTS!" Episode," 31 Mar. 2020 For the mom who gulps down smoothies: A reliable, hard-working blender A blender versatile enough to blend up fruit and yogurt for smoothies or grind nuts for homemade peanut butter is a kitchen staple. Jessica Kasparian, USA TODAY, "25 Mother’s Day gifts moms actually want," 10 Apr. 2020 Not every deal involves old finance gulping down new fintech. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "In the future, there will be no more fintech," 24 Feb. 2020 New fruit could soon replace the two vintage orange varieties — the Hamlin and the Valencia, a juice mixture that most Americans have gulped for decades. Washington Post, "The end of Florida orange juice? A lethal disease is devastating the state’s citrus industry.," 9 Nov. 2019 Unlike other weapon propulsion systems, ramjets gulp air to use as fuel. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Ramjets Will Drastically Improve Missiles and Artillery Shells," 17 Oct. 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

Cite this Entry

“Gulp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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