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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Terror flew from him in a kind of guttural howl like a whale song. Lorrie Moore, The New Yorker, "Face Time," 21 Sep. 2020 Greedo is a guttural, raw and visceral embodiment of the Black American struggle and the bone marrow of his native city. Jeff Weiss, Washington Post, "03 Greedo has spent the last two years in a Texas prison but is still the beating heart of L.A.’s rap scene," 21 Aug. 2020 My cries became guttural, escaping the open window to a sleepy city that didn’t respond. Longreads, "Postcard from the (Literal) Edge," 10 Aug. 2020 Taken from gecs' epic remix album 1000 gecs & the Tree of Clues, this rendition of features Patrick Stump's nasally croon sailing atop a shadowy bassline; Owens' guttural shrieks, chopped and screwed; and Dollanganger's spooky, Grimes-like murmurs. Marcus Jones,, "Friday Five: Snoh Aalegra struggles with an all-consuming love, 100 gecs team up with Fall Out Boy, and more," 10 July 2020 Yeeeeeeeees is the guttural sound that escapes from my throat upon seeing the terrified look on Kyle's face. Jodi Walker,, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," 4 June 2020 The sound of clanging weight plates and guttural grunts inside the Skandalaris Center weight room disappeared. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football strength coach is new, but players already know 'he's the real deal'," 30 Apr. 2020 Unapologetic, guttural, and real, that new sensibility has now bled into mainstream advertising (are there any underwear ads without hot plus-size models anymore?) and TV programming. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Samantha Irby Is All Grown Up," 17 Apr. 2020 His guttural utterances are sometimes more frightening than pitiful. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "‘The Roads Not Taken’ Review: Alternate Lives, All of Them Hellish," 12 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guttural

Time Traveler for guttural

Time Traveler

The first known use of guttural was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about guttural

Statistics for guttural

Last Updated

27 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guttural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on guttural

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guttural

Nglish: Translation of guttural for Spanish Speakers

Comments on guttural

What made you want to look up guttural? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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