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gull1

[guhl]
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noun
  1. any of numerous long-winged, web-toed, aquatic birds of the family Laridae, having usually white plumage with a gray back and wings.

Origin of gull1

1400–50; late Middle English gulle, perhaps < Welsh gŵylan, Cornish guilan (compare French goéland < Breton gwelan)
Related formsgull-like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gull-like

Historical Examples

  • The Skimmers are gull-like in form, with long, slender body and long wings, spreading almost three feet.

    Bird Lore, Volume I--1899

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for gull-like

gull1

noun
  1. any aquatic bird of the genus Larus and related genera, such as L. canus (common gull or mew) having long pointed wings, short legs, and a mostly white plumage: family Laridae, order CharadriiformesRelated adjective: larine
Derived Formsgull-like, adjective

Word Origin

C15: of Celtic origin; compare Welsh gwylan

gull2

noun
  1. a person who is easily fooled or cheated
verb
  1. (tr) to fool, cheat, or hoax

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from dialect gull unfledged bird, probably from gul, from Old Norse gulr yellow
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

Word Origin and History for gull-like

gull

n.1

shore bird, early 15c. (in a cook book), probably from Brythonic Celtic, cf. Welsh gwylan "gull," Cornish guilan, Breton goelann; all from Old Celtic *voilenno-. Replaced Old English mæw (see mew (n.1)).

gull

n.2

cant term for "dupe, sucker, credulous person," 1590s, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from verb meaning "to dupe, cheat" (1540s), earlier "to swallow" (1520s), ultimately from gull "throat, gullet" (early 15c.); see gullet. Or it is perhaps from (or influenced by) the bird (see gull (n.1)); in either case with a sense of "someone who will swallow anything thrown at him." Another possibility is Middle English dialectal gull "newly hatched bird" (late 14c.), which is perhaps from Old Norse golr "yellow," from the hue of its down.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper