gut·​tur·​al | \ ˈgə-tə-rəl How to pronounce guttural (audio) , ˈgə-trəl \

Definition of guttural

1 : articulated in the throat guttural sounds
2 : velar
3 : being or marked by utterance that is strange, unpleasant, or disagreeable

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Other Words from guttural

guttural noun
gutturalism \ ˈgə-​tə-​rə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce gutturalism (audio) , ˈgə-​trə-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

Though it is now used to describe many sounds or utterances which strike the listener as harsh or disagreeable, the adjective guttural was originally applied only to sounds and utterances produced in the throat. This is reflected in the word's Latin root—guttur, meaning "throat." Despite the similarity in sound, guttural is not related to the English word gutter, which comes (by way of Anglo-French) from Latin gutta, meaning "drop."

Examples of guttural in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The members are in pieces, emitting wild, guttural laughs that get caught in their throats. Elizabeth De Luna, Teen Vogue, "One Year of WayV: The Chinese Pop Group on Fanboying, Shrek, and Their Vision for the Future," 20 Jan. 2020 Meryl Streep’s Mary Louise shocked Celeste with a guttural scream in the season 2 premiere. Ew Staff,, "The 30 most shocking TV moments of 2019," 14 Dec. 2019 What [sound editor] Phil Stockton ended up doing eventually was going in and editing out a lot of the breaths and the grunts and guttural things that De Niro does with his voice, particularly as he’s gotten older. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, "Robert De Niro said no green screen. No face dots. How ‘The Irishman’s’ de-aging changes Hollywood," 2 Jan. 2020 Lupita Nyong’o, who transformed her voice into a guttural rasp and excelled in two extremely different roles, won best actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, but failed to register with the HFPA. Time, "The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2020 Golden Globe Nominations," 9 Dec. 2019 The silence is interrupted only by the crunch of their feet on the sand and then, after a few minutes, sporadic, far-off guttural animal bellowing. Wired, "Meet the Activists Risking Prison to Film VR in Factory Farms," 5 Dec. 2019 My lifelong insecurities turn into deep, guttural self-loathing. Dani Fleischer, Longreads, "This Is How You Lose Your Mind," 22 Nov. 2019 Watching female leads wrestle with their art, attempt to slough off their vices and find that guttural sound inside them is an emboldening sight. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Rise of the Feminist Musical Drama: 'Judy' and Other Films Spotlight Talent Over Romance," 15 Nov. 2019 Wearing a traditional white frock and ornate headpiece, Gnawa performance includes guttural singing, which at times sounds more like funereal wailing, hands extended into the sky. Nicolas Stecher, Billboard, "Morocco's Moga Festival Shines Bright With Blond:ish, Kenny Dope and Local Roots," 22 Oct. 2019

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

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for guttural

Middle French, probably from Medieval Latin gutturalis, from Latin guttur throat

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Time Traveler for guttural

Time Traveler

The first known use of guttural was in 1594

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Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guttural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for guttural


How to pronounce guttural (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of guttural

: formed or pronounced in the throat


gut·​tur·​al | \ ˈgət-ə-rəl, ˈgə-trəl How to pronounce guttural (audio) \

Medical Definition of guttural

: of or relating to the throat

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More from Merriam-Webster on guttural

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guttural

Spanish Central: Translation of guttural

Nglish: Translation of guttural for Spanish Speakers

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