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[gur-guh l] /ˈgɜr gəl/
verb (used without object), gurgled, gurgling.
to flow in a broken, irregular, noisy current:
The water gurgled from the bottle.
to make a sound as of water doing this (often used of birds or of human beings).
verb (used with object), gurgled, gurgling.
to utter or express with a gurgling sound:
The baby gurgled its delight.
the act or noise of gurgling.
Origin of gurgle
1555-65; compare Dutch, Middle Low German gorgelen, German gurgeln to gargle; akin to Latin gurguliō throat
Related forms
gurglingly, adverb
1, 2. bubble, burble, babble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gurgling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was trouble in that place—moaning, splashing, gurgling, and the clank of machinery.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • No sound was heard but the gurgling of blood that ran out in floods on the floor.

    Japanese Fairy World William Elliot Griffis
  • It has been described as a "rumbling" noise, but I think "gurgling" is better.

    The Emma Gees

    Herbert Wes McBride
  • White made a gurgling noise in his throat and held on to the desk for support.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
  • The hag paused, cracked forth a gurgling scream, then proceeded.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • And, gurgling happily to herself, she went out and bought a camera.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • With a gurgling cry the brute relaxed its hold, and slipped to one side.

    The Camp in the Snow William Murray Graydon
  • Right up through the pebbles, bubbling and gurgling it came.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • All the while the growling and seething and gurgling of the water was heard above all.

    Hester's Counterpart Jean K. Baird
British Dictionary definitions for gurgling


verb (intransitive)
(of liquids, esp of rivers, streams, etc) to make low bubbling noises when flowing
to utter low throaty bubbling noises, esp as a sign of contentment: the baby gurgled with delight
the act or sound of gurgling
Derived Forms
gurgling, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Vulgar Latin gurgulāre, from Latin gurguliō gullet
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 gurgling



early 15c., medical term for "gurgling heard in the abdomen," a native, echoic formation, or ultimately from Latin gurguliare, perhaps via Dutch, German gurgeln. Extended (non-anatomical) use, in reference to water over stones, etc., is first recorded 1713. "This phenomenon of long specialized use before becoming a part of the general vocabulary is often found in English" [Barnhart]. Related: Gurgled; gurgling. As a noun from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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