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gulp Syllabification: gulp

Definition of gulp in English:


[with object]
1Swallow (drink or food) quickly or in large mouthfuls, often audibly: he smiled and gulped his milk
More example sentences
  • The breaks were used to eat protein-rich snacks and energy-boosting beverages were often gulped down while still dancing.
  • While adults had to eat at least five cups of ice creams and drink a 300 ml bottle of Pepsi as fast as they could, children had to gobble three ice creams and gulp a soft drink.
  • He smiled as Elena gulped her wine, put down the glass a bit too forcefully, and leaned on him, letting the sway of the car take it's toll.
swallow, guzzle (down), quaff, swill down, down
informal swig, knock back, chug, chugalug
gobble (down), guzzle (down), devour, bolt down, wolf down
informal put away, demolish, polish off, shovel in/down, scoff (down)
1.1Breathe (air) deeply and quickly: we emerged to gulp great lungfuls of cold night air
More example sentences
  • She gulped air, then pulled herself up to float as the water rose to six feet then seven feet, the ceiling was ten feet high, three feet now.
  • I stood on the precipice gulping air, awestruck.
  • The ball of snow simply packed harder each time I tried to gulp air around it.
1.2 [no object] Make effortful breathing or swallowing movements, typically in response to strong emotion: fumes seeped in until she was forced to gulp for air she gulped back the tears
More example sentences
  • I gulped back a laugh and eased up on the gas, slowing down to a steady 70 km/h.
  • He gulped back his fear and regret as he moved to the ledge.
  • I gulped back a sudden need to tear up and waited for him to continue.
choke back, fight back, hold back/in, suppress, stifle, smother


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1An act of gulping food or drink: she swallowed the rest of the coffee with a gulp
More example sentences
  • Carlos grabbed one right after him and drank it in three gulps.
  • I drank it in three gulps, putting the glass in the sink afterwards.
  • Tarantino is very clear about this: we see Bill open the bottle and drink the first shot in a single gulp, and we see him trying to shake the last drop out of the bottle when it is empty.
1.1A large mouthful of liquid hastily drunk: Titch took a gulp of beer and wiped his mouth on his sleeve
More example sentences
  • ‘This is a good place to do science,’ he said, then took a gulp of his decaf.
  • I took a gulp of it and burned my tongue in the process.
  • When we got inside, I sat on one of the beds and started stuffing my face with the bread and cheese I bought, once in a while pausing to take a gulp of water.
mouthful, swallow, draft
informal swig
1.2A large quantity of air breathed in.
Example sentences
  • She took a few gulps, breathed out and glanced at the scenery before her.
  • Realizing she had been holding her breath, she let it out now, in big gulps, breathing in and out to fill her starved lungs as well as to steady her nerves.
  • He had felt strong and safe as he had breathed in deep gulps of cold, sea air.
1.3A swallowing movement of the throat: the chairman gave an audible gulp
More example sentences
  • He watched as Luna took a gulp and cleared her throat.
  • Plenty of adrenaline, audible gulps and raised arms expecting to defend oneself from ghostly ghouls and fiends, had now been replaced by a sense of confusion and a nagging anti-climatic feel.
  • In the silence of the echoing marble hall, Marlo's gulp was audible and the shake in her hand as she pointed at Marion was all too clear.


Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch gulpen, of imitative origin.


at a gulp

With one gulp: having emptied his glass at a gulp, Roger pulled out a cigar
More example sentences
  • Its tentacles, as long and wide as rivers, end in yawning mouths which sweep the ground, devouring the nomads and their ponies, hundreds at a gulp.
  • Ulrich, in turn, recovered his senses, but as he felt faint with terror, he went and got a bottle of brandy out of the sideboard, and he drank off several glasses, one after anther, at a gulp.
  • The girl threw one out at the door, and the giantess swallowed it at a gulp and demanded more.




Words that rhyme with gulp


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(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly