- a sudden, short intake of breath, as in shock or surprise.
- a convulsive effort to breathe.
- a short, convulsive utterance: the words came out in gasps.
- to catch one's breath.
- to struggle for breath with the mouth open; breathe convulsively.
- to long with breathless eagerness; desire; crave (usually followed by for or after).
- to utter with gasps (often followed by out, forth, away, etc.): She gasped out the words.
- to breathe or emit with gasps (often followed by away).
- last gasp, the point of death; dying: At his last gasp he confessed to the murder.
Origin of gasp
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gasping
A: Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning, just gasping between life and death.The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built
December 12, 2014
Sometimes people with sleep apnea wake up during the night gasping for breath.6 Sleep Myths to Finally Put to Bed
March 23, 2014
Oulson can be heard gurgling, gasping, his lungs crackling, the sounds of someone drowning in his own blood.The Movie Murder 911 Tape: Victim’s Last Breaths, With Shooter Nearby
January 25, 2014
I would hear her watching it, gasping in shock or excitement, but I hardly ever watched it with her.The Daily Beast Staff Picks Their Favorite ‘Breaking Bad’ Moments (VIDEO)
The Daily Beast
September 28, 2013
Someone kept sighing and gasping and giggling in the screening I was at.Emilia Wickstead and Manolo Blahnik: #LFW Day 3
September 15, 2013
With parched throats, gasping for breath, they lay back in agony.Brave and Bold
Banstead at last relieved his feelings with a gasping, "Well, I'm damned!"Viviette
William J. Locke
He spoke with a gasping voice, and his face flushed crimson in the moonlight.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
The stranger dies, while the Indian, sweating and gasping for breath, survives.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
"It is not sand," said Monny, gasping a little in the heavy air.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- (intr) to draw in the breath sharply, convulsively, or with effort, esp in expressing awe, horror, etc
- (intr; foll by after or for) to crave
- (tr often foll by out) to utter or emit breathlessly
- a short convulsive intake of breath
- a short convulsive burst of speech
- at the last gasp
- at the point of death
- at the last moment
Word Origin and History for gasping
late 14c., gaspen, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Norse geispa "to yawn," or its Danish derivative gispe "gasp," which probably are related to Old Norse gapa (see gape). Related: Gasped; gasping.
1570s, from gasp (v.).
Idioms and Phrases with gasping
see last gasp.