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gasp

[gasp, gahsp] /gæsp, gɑsp/
noun
1.
a sudden, short intake of breath, as in shock or surprise.
2.
a convulsive effort to breathe.
3.
a short, convulsive utterance:
the words came out in gasps.
verb (used without object)
4.
to catch one's breath.
5.
to struggle for breath with the mouth open; breathe convulsively.
6.
to long with breathless eagerness; desire; crave (usually followed by for or after).
verb (used with object)
7.
to utter with gasps (often followed by out, forth, away, etc.):
She gasped out the words.
8.
to breathe or emit with gasps (often followed by away).
Idioms
9.
last gasp, the point of death; dying:
At his last gasp he confessed to the murder.
Origin of gasp
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English gaspen, probably Old English *gāspen, equivalent to Old Norse geispa; akin to gape
Related forms
gaspingly, adverb
Synonyms
4, 5. puff, blow. See pant1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gasping
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With parched throats, gasping for breath, they lay back in agony.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • 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
British Dictionary definitions for gasping

gasp

/ɡɑːsp/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to draw in the breath sharply, convulsively, or with effort, esp in expressing awe, horror, etc
2.
(intransitive; foll by after or for) to crave
3.
(transitive) often foll by out. to utter or emit breathlessly
noun
4.
a short convulsive intake of breath
5.
a short convulsive burst of speech
6.
at the last gasp
  1. at the point of death
  2. at the last moment
Derived Forms
gaspingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse geispa to yawn; related to Swedish dialect gispa, Danish gispe
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 gasping

gasp

v.

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.

gasp

n.

1570s, from gasp (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with gasping

gasp

see: last gasp
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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