gut·​tur·​al ˈgə-tə-rəl How to pronounce guttural (audio)
: articulated in the throat
guttural sounds
: velar
: being or marked by utterance that is strange, unpleasant, or disagreeable
guttural noun
gutturalism 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."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Here are some clues for today’s Quordle game, followed by the answers: Quordle Clues For March 16 Word 1 (top left) clue — a low, guttural vocal sound. Kris Holt, Forbes, 15 Mar. 2023 Dorsey’s novels are wrapped in thin plots using guttural, often coarse humor that often works. Oline H. Cogdill, Sun Sentinel, 8 Mar. 2023 The guttural purr of diesel generators has become the background noise to life in just about every major Ukrainian city, as shops and restaurants have struggled to keep their lights on. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2023 Devin Swank is a powerful, resolutely guttural presence on the mic, but the VIP here is unquestionably Cody Davidson, the band’s drummer and in-house producer, who invests every grody breakdown with a funky, hardcore-style bounce. Hank Shteamer, SPIN, 22 Feb. 2023 Under the hood, it’s powered by a 6-liter V-12 that emits a guttural roar to ward off competitors. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 11 June 2021 Panicked officers rush inside to try to subdue the assailant, as Mr. Pelosi lies motionless on his side making guttural sounds. Tim Arango, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2023 Stars returning to their old cities for the first time will always lead to a guttural reaction. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 11 Jan. 2023 Carmela’s clever, curse-laden rejoinders were always a delight, enhanced by the guttural punch of Falco’s tough-broad deliveries, each word wrapped in barbed wire. Hazlitt, 4 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of guttural was in 1594


Dictionary Entries Near guttural

Cite this Entry

“Guttural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


gut·​tur·​al ˈgət-ə-rəl How to pronounce guttural (audio)
: formed or pronounced in the throat
guttural sounds
: formed with the back of the tongue touching or near the palate
guttural noun

Medical Definition


gut·​tur·​al ˈgət-ə-rəl, ˈgə-trəl How to pronounce guttural (audio)
: of or relating to the throat

More from Merriam-Webster on guttural

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love It or Hate It

  • heart-fire
  • When asked about her blind date, Carol spoke for hours with vitriol.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?