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[guhlp] /gʌlp/
verb (used without object)
to gasp or choke, as when taking large drafts of a liquid.
verb (used with object)
to swallow eagerly, or in large drafts or morsels (often followed by down):
He gulps down his food like a starving man.
to suppress, subdue, or choke back as if by swallowing:
to gulp down a sob.
the act of gulping:
He drank the whole bottle of beer in one gulp.
the amount swallowed at one time; mouthful.
Origin of gulp
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English gulpen (v.); compare Dutch gulpen, Norwegian glupa
Related forms
gulper, noun
gulpingly, adverb
gulpy, adjective
2. wolf, gobble, quaff, bolt, devour, guzzle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gulp
  • They trap shrimp and other tiny creatures in the baleen, which the whales then swallow before preparing for the next gulp.
  • The largest terror birds could likely swallow dog-size prey in a single gulp, experts say.
  • The rich gulp down far more, since they tend to eat more meat, which takes far more water to produce than grains.
  • After all, people who gulp down vast draughts of bandwidth might be expected to pay more than less grasping users.
  • And it has a name so long you need to take a gulp of air when you're done speaking.
  • Licking off the food, they open their mouths for another gulp.
  • And because the plastic is porous you'll likely get a swill of harmful bacteria with each gulp if you reuse the bottles.
  • Most evenings, the crowd of bankers and businessmen groan and gulp their drinks as they watch markets plummet.
  • Later on he is humiliated by members of a street gang who turn him into a slobbering dog begging for a gulp of their beer.
  • If the prey is small enough, it gets eaten in one single gulp, bones and all.
British Dictionary definitions for gulp


(transitive) often foll by down. to swallow rapidly, esp in large mouthfuls: to gulp down food
(transitive) often foll by back. to stifle or choke: to gulp back sobs
(intransitive) to swallow air convulsively, as while drinking, because of nervousness, surprise, etc
(intransitive) to make a noise, as when swallowing too quickly
the act of gulping
the quantity taken in a gulp
Derived Forms
gulper, noun
gulpingly, adverb
gulpy, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch gulpen, of imitative origin
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 gulp

late 14c., a native coinage or else from Flemish gulpe or Dutch gulpen "to gush, pour forth, guzzle, swallow," in any case possibly of imitative origin (cf. Swedish dialectal glapa "to gulp down"). Related: Gulped; gulping.


1560s, from gulp (v.), or else from Flemish gulpe, Dutch gulp "stream of water, large draught."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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