- 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 last-gasp
It is seen as a last-gasp effort to finally solve the mystery of his November 2004 death in France.Bringing Up Yasir Arafat’s Body
November 24, 2012
- (modifier) done in desperation at the last minutea last-gasp attempt to save the talks
- (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 last-gasp
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 last-gasp
see last gasp.