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[gur-guh l] /ˈgɜr gəl/
verb (used without object), gurgled, gurgling.
to flow in a broken, irregular, noisy current:
The water gurgled from the bottle.
to make a sound as of water doing this (often used of birds or of human beings).
verb (used with object), gurgled, gurgling.
to utter or express with a gurgling sound:
The baby gurgled its delight.
the act or noise of gurgling.
Origin of gurgle
1555-65; compare Dutch, Middle Low German gorgelen, German gurgeln to gargle; akin to Latin gurguliō throat
Related forms
gurglingly, adverb
1, 2. bubble, burble, babble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gurgling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The next instant a gurgling cry came from the bow of the boat.

    Witches Cove Roy J. Snell
  • No sound was heard but the gurgling of blood that ran out in floods on the floor.

    Japanese Fairy World William Elliot Griffis
  • He found when he did so a wooded hillside with a gurgling streamlet at its foot.

    A Country Sweetheart Dora Russell
  • It has been described as a "rumbling" noise, but I think "gurgling" is better.

    The Emma Gees Herbert Wes McBride
  • Then he was silent, and for quite half an hour all sat listening to the gurgling, hissing, and rushing noises made by the water.

    Menhardoc George Manville Fenn
  • White made a gurgling noise in his throat and held on to the desk for support.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
  • I said to the Thomas Cat, I threw in the gurgling creek, all weighted down with a smoothing iron, and a hundredweight of brick.

  • The hag paused, cracked forth a gurgling scream, then proceeded.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • Through his gag, which she had loosened a bit, he made a peculiar, gurgling noise.

    The Social Gangster Arthur B. Reeve
British Dictionary definitions for gurgling


verb (intransitive)
(of liquids, esp of rivers, streams, etc) to make low bubbling noises when flowing
to utter low throaty bubbling noises, esp as a sign of contentment: the baby gurgled with delight
the act or sound of gurgling
Derived Forms
gurgling, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Vulgar Latin gurgulāre, from Latin gurguliō gullet
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 gurgling



early 15c., medical term for "gurgling heard in the abdomen," a native, echoic formation, or ultimately from Latin gurguliare, perhaps via Dutch, German gurgeln. Extended (non-anatomical) use, in reference to water over stones, etc., is first recorded 1713. "This phenomenon of long specialized use before becoming a part of the general vocabulary is often found in English" [Barnhart]. Related: Gurgled; gurgling. As a noun from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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