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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 down
Historical Examples
  • The coming man is to consider it low to walk up to a bar and gulp down liquor.

  • She, obedient, seemed to gulp down some words which wanted to come out.

  • Then she had to gulp down a lump in her throat and rub her eyes.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • Then she pressed it unexpectedly, so that he had to gulp down a lump that was in his throat.

    The Crisis, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Nor is it necessary to gulp down ardent spirits to keep the spirits up.

    The Funny Side of Physic A. D. Crabtre
  • He watched Monty gulp down his drink with unaccustomed rapidity.

    Under Cover Roi Cooper Megrue
  • Men in dairy lunches were hustling to gulp down the food which cooks had hustled to fry.

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • Pomponia paused before she spoke, and had to gulp down a choking sob.

    Darkness and Dawn Frederic W. Farrar
  • The hungry animal would rifle it completely, gulp down the priceless fat meat, and strew the rest of the provisions about.

    The Wilderness Trail Frank Williams
  • Again Bob White paused to gulp down the obstacle in his throat.

British Dictionary definitions for gulp down


(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 down



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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