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

Other Words from guttural

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

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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 His booming, guttural voice allowed his message to penetrate walls and windows. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, 17 Nov. 2021 Skinless and eviscerating, a raw, guttural grief for the whole wide world. Regina Tingle, Good Housekeeping, 5 Nov. 2021 And now the screaming starts — deafening, guttural, primal shrieks. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 17 Oct. 2021 Then, from thorny bramble, the wildcat exhales in a guttural hiss. Leigh Ann Henion, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2021 Although this engine remains a relatively smooth one in normal use, winding it out close to its redline does result in a guttural groan from beneath the hood. Derek Powell, Car and Driver, 8 Sep. 2021 Listening to the episode, as the song’s bachata guitar and dembow drums slashed through each other under Ivy’s guttural wail, I was moved to stand up and belted her requiem of resentment and heartbreak to no one in particular. Isabelia Herrera, New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 The sheep were offering a symphony of guttural bleats punctuated with hollow tongs from bells dangling round their necks as Mr. Rogers and the dogs directed them toward a noonday water break. New York Times, 27 July 2021 Running from idle to redline fills the cabin with guttural chortles that turn to a sawing scream as the engine charges to 9000 rpm. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 20 Apr. 2021

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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The first known use of guttural was in 1594

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Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guttural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for guttural



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


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