gutter

1 of 3

noun

gut·​ter ˈgə-tər How to pronounce gutter (audio)
1
a
: a trough along the eaves to catch and carry off rainwater
b
: a low area (as at the edge of a street) to carry off surface water (as to a sewer)
c
: a trough or groove to catch and direct something
the gutters of a bowling alley
2
: a white space formed by the adjoining inside margins of two facing pages (as of a book)
3
: the lowest or most vulgar level or condition of human life

gutter

2 of 3

verb

guttered; guttering; gutters

transitive verb

1
: to cut or wear gutters in
2
: to provide with a gutter

intransitive verb

1
a
: to flow in rivulets
b
of a candle : to melt away through a channel out of the side of the cup hollowed out by the burning wick
2
: to incline downward in a draft
the candle flame guttering

gutter

3 of 3

adjective

: of, relating to, or characteristic of the gutter
especially : marked by extreme vulgarity, cheapness, or indecency
gutter politics

Examples of gutter in a Sentence

Noun one of his chores is to clean leaves and sticks out of the gutters before winter sets in rainwater running off the road into the gutters Adjective a novel that does a good job of rendering the gutter language of that stratum of society
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Sam Hardacre, a fish gutter, builds a business fortune, transfers his family from a Northern English dock to a Yorkshire country estate. Marta Balaga, Variety, 22 Feb. 2024 From gutter cleaning and preparing your fireplace for winter, to what to do if your basement floods. Contact us: Looking to buy your first home? Rachel Kurzius, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 Typical sites include birdbaths, old tires and clogged gutters. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 The program replaced his roof, added downspouts to his gutters, fixed a jammed front door and installed lighting in the bathroom and another room, along with other upgrades. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 1 Feb. 2024 Snow can not block the free passage of water, meaning it can not be placed in a gutter or in the direction of a sewer or catch basin. Leo Bertucci, The Courier-Journal, 12 Jan. 2024 The funding would go towards fixing curbs, gutters and the sidewalk outside the building. Nick Rosenberger, Idaho Statesman, 13 Feb. 2024 Cal’s Mark Madsen Contract: $2.1 million Comment: The first-year coach has done superb work in lifting the Bears from the Pac-12 gutter to the realm of the respectable. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 7 Feb. 2024 As crews from a local gutter company on Wednesday work on the roof of a former Sonny’s BBQ, signs already are advertising The Smoke Pit Restaurant coming to that site at West Plaza Drive (N.C. 150) in Mooresville, off Interstate 77 Exit 36. Joe Marusak, Charlotte Observer, 7 Feb. 2024
Verb
The restaurant was unexceptional — plastic chairs, coarse tablecloths, low guttering candles — and perfect. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 Advertisement :: Clouds of incense, guttering candles: Inside Lviv’s garrison church, singer Vasyl Hnypyuk’s high baritone rose and fell in cadence, supplementing the chanting of presiding priests. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2023 And for the umpteen transitions, tall, slim screens glide across the stage like screen-wipes displaying distractingly different, hyper-realist close-up images ranging from location-setting photos to a (worryingly out of focus) video of a guttering candle. David Benedict, Variety, 26 May 2023 Crews will be setting catch basins to grade, forming up curb and gutter cutout areas, and beginning to form up driveway aprons. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 15 June 2020 Never mind the explicitness of that time’s memento mori, all the skulls and guttering candles. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2020 That might be a backhanded way of saying the Portofino is still wonderful—a four-wheeled panther, purring, prowling and guttering in the streets. Dan Neil, WSJ, 23 Jan. 2020 The four of them are watching me, their faces, lit by the moon and the guttering candles on the table, concerned. Longreads, 2 Jan. 2020 The cities can dictate whether or not it's curbed and guttered, concrete, setback limitations, the house size, the lot size and a number of other restrictions. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, 29 Mar. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gutter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English goter, from Anglo-French gutere, goter, from gute drop, from Latin gutta

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gutter was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gutter

Cite this Entry

“Gutter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gutter. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

gutter

1 of 2 noun
gut·​ter ˈgət-ər How to pronounce gutter (audio)
1
a
: a trough along the eaves of a house to catch and carry off water
b
: a low area (as at a roadside) to carry off surface water
2
: a narrow channel or groove

gutter

2 of 2 verb
1
: to form gutters in
2
a
: to flow in small streams
b
: to melt away by having wax stream down in channels
a guttering candle
3
: to flicker in a draft

Medical Definition

gutter

noun
gut·​ter ˈgət-ər How to pronounce gutter (audio)
: a depressed furrow between body parts (as on the surface between a pair of adjacent ribs or in the dorsal wall of the body cavity on either side of the spinal column)

More from Merriam-Webster on gutter

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