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gull1

[guhl] /gʌl/
noun
1.
any of numerous long-winged, web-toed, aquatic birds of the family Laridae, having usually white plumage with a gray back and wings.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English gulle, perhaps < Welsh gŵylan, Cornish guilan (compare French goéland < Breton gwelan)
Related forms
gull-like, adjective

gull2

[guhl] /gʌl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to deceive, trick, or cheat.
noun
2.
a person who is easily deceived or cheated; dupe.
Origin
1540-50; perhaps akin to obsolete gull to swallow, guzzle
Synonyms
1. cozen, dupe, fool, bamboozle, hoodwink.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gulls
  • Scores of gulls hover above, screeching in excitement, then swoop down to gobble up any leftovers.
  • And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
  • Multiple predators, including crabs and flocks of gulls, voraciously prey on hatchlings during this short scamper.
  • There are behemoth freighters in port, and the gulls seem to eddy in the sky without purpose, though this can hardly be true.
  • Dozens, hundreds of little white gulls' heads poked out of the rock wall below.
  • In some cases, people will casually feed food to begging gulls.
  • At that point in time, an expanding population of gulls eventually excluded all nesting terns from the island.
  • These burrows keep them out of reach of hungry gulls as pairs take turns incubating their eggs and raising their chicks.
  • Terns and gulls are distant relatives of shorebirds and are often observed together foraging for food.
  • Because of these reasons, terns and gulls will be grouped with the shorebirds.
British Dictionary definitions for gulls

gull1

/ɡʌl/
noun
1.
any aquatic bird of the genus Larus and related genera, such as L. canus (common gull or mew) having long pointed wings, short legs, and a mostly white plumage: family Laridae, order Charadriiformes related adjective larine
Derived Forms
gull-like, adjective
Word Origin
C15: of Celtic origin; compare Welsh gwylan

gull2

/ɡʌl/
noun
1.
a person who is easily fooled or cheated
verb
2.
(transitive) to fool, cheat, or hoax
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from dialect gull unfledged bird, probably from gul, from Old Norse gulr yellow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gulls

gull

n.

shore bird, early 15c. (in a cook book), probably from Brythonic Celtic, cf. Welsh gwylan "gull," Cornish guilan, Breton goelann; all from Old Celtic *voilenno-. Replaced Old English mæw (see mew (n.1)).

cant term for "dupe, sucker, credulous person," 1590s, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from verb meaning "to dupe, cheat" (1540s), earlier "to swallow" (1520s), ultimately from gull "throat, gullet" (early 15c.); see gullet. Or it is perhaps from (or influenced by) the bird (see gull (n.1)); in either case with a sense of "someone who will swallow anything thrown at him." Another possibility is Middle English dialectal gull "newly hatched bird" (late 14c.), which is perhaps from Old Norse golr "yellow," from the hue of its down.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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