[gasp, gahsp]
a sudden, short intake of breath, as in shock or surprise.
a convulsive effort to breathe.
a short, convulsive utterance: the words came out in gasps.
verb (used without object)
to catch one's breath.
to struggle for breath with the mouth open; breathe convulsively.
to long with breathless eagerness; desire; crave (usually followed by for or after ).
verb (used with object)
to utter with gasps (often followed by out, forth, away, etc.): She gasped out the words.
to breathe or emit with gasps (often followed by away ).
last gasp, the point of death; dying: At his last gasp he confessed to the murder.

1350–1400; Middle English gaspen, probably Old English *gāspen, equivalent to Old Norse geispa; akin to gape

gaspingly, adverb

4, 5. puff, blow. See pant1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To gasping
World English Dictionary
gasp (ɡɑːsp)
vb (often foll by out)
1.  (intr) to draw in the breath sharply, convulsively, or with effort, esp in expressing awe, horror, etc
2.  (intr; foll by after or for) to crave
3.  to utter or emit breathlessly
4.  a short convulsive intake of breath
5.  a short convulsive burst of speech
6.  at the last gasp
 a.  at the point of death
 b.  at the last moment
[C14: from Old Norse geispa to yawn; related to Swedish dialect gispa, Danish gispe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., gaspen, of uncertain origin, perhaps from O.N. geispa "to yawn," or its Dan. derivative gispe "gasp." Related: Gasped; gasping.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Group Against Smoking in Public
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
E-readers are far from dead but many are certainly gasping for breath.
All is quiet except the gurgling sound of him gasping.
They paused at last, gasping, and stood in the middle of the room to laugh at
  each other's happiness.
Maybe it's the result of spending so much of his childhood trying to make
  himself understood to doctors while gasping for air.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature