[gahr-guh l]
See more synonyms for gargle on
verb (used without object), gar·gled, gar·gling.
  1. to wash or rinse the throat or mouth with a liquid held in the throat and kept in motion by a stream of air from the lungs.
verb (used with object), gar·gled, gar·gling.
  1. to gargle (the throat or mouth).
  2. to utter with a gargling sound.
  1. any liquid used for gargling.
  2. a gargling sound.

Origin of gargle

1520–30; < Middle French gargouiller to gargle, rattle the throat, derivative of gargouille throat; perhaps imitative
Related formsgar·gler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gargle

irrigate, swish, trill

Examples from the Web for gargle

Contemporary Examples of gargle

Historical Examples of gargle

British Dictionary definitions for gargle


  1. to rinse (the mouth and throat) with a liquid, esp a medicinal fluid by slowly breathing out through the liquid
  2. to utter (words, sounds, etc) with the throaty bubbling noise of gargling
  1. the liquid used for gargling
  2. the sound produced by gargling
  3. British informal an alcoholic drinkwhat was her favourite gargle?
Derived Formsgargler, noun

Word Origin for gargle

C16: from Old French gargouiller to gargle, make a gurgling sound, from gargouille throat, perhaps of imitative origin
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 gargle

1520s, from Middle French gargouiller "to gurgle, bubble" (14c.), from Old French gargole "throat, waterspout," perhaps from garg-, imitative of throat sounds, + *goule, dialect word for "mouth," from Latin gula "throat." Related: Gargled; gargling. The earlier, native, form of the word was Middle English gargarize (early 15c.).


1650s, from gargle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gargle in Medicine


  1. To force exhaled air through a liquid held in the back of the mouth, with the head tilted back, in order to cleanse or medicate the mouth or throat.
  1. A medicated fluid used for gargling.throatwash
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.