a portion of an ocean or sea partly enclosed by land.
a deep hollow; chasm or abyss.
any wide separation, as in position, status, or education.
something that engulfs or swallows up.
verb (used with object)
to swallow up; engulf.

1300–50; Middle English go(u)lf < Old French golfe < Italian golfo < Late Greek kólphos, Greek kólpos bosom, lap, bay

gulflike, adjective
gulfy, adjective

bay, cove, gulf, inlet.

2. canyon, gorge, gully, cleft, rift, split. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gulf (ɡʌlf)
1.  a large deep bay
2.  a deep chasm
3.  something that divides or separates, such as a lack of understanding
4.  something that engulfs, such as a whirlpool
5.  (tr) to swallow up; engulf
[C14: from Old French golfe, from Italian golfo, from Greek kolpos]

Gulf (ɡʌlf)
1.  the Persian Gulf
2.  (Austral)
 a.  the Gulf of Carpentaria
 b.  (modifier) of, relating to, or adjoining the Gulf: Gulf country
3.  (NZ) the Hauraki Gulf

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

c.1300, from O.Fr. golfe "a gulf, whirlpool," from It. golfo "a gulf, a bay," from L.L. colfos, from Gk. kolpos "bay, gulf," earlier "trough between waves, fold of a garment," originally "bosom," the common notion being "curved shape," from PIE *qwelp- "to vault" (cf. O.E. hwealf, a-hwielfan "to overwhelm").
Latin sinus underwent the same development, being used first for "bosom," later for "gulf." Replaced O.E. sæ-earm. Figurative sense of "a wide interval" is from 1557. The Gulf Stream (1775) takes its name from the Gulf of Mexico.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
gulf   (gŭlf)  Pronunciation Key 
A large body of ocean or sea water that is partly surrounded by land.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
My friends' dads worked shifts out on the oil rigs in the gulf.
Key to the gulf's productivity are its marshes, the nurseries of the sea.
The gulf between these mind-sets is wide.
The gulf between his reputation abroad and his predicament at home is amazing.
Image for gulf
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