- 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 for gasp on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gasp
And in a big departure from established royal protocol, Prince George might even get a—gasp—present to open on Christmas Day.Prince George’s Christmas: Better Than Yours
December 24, 2014
The virgin birth is mentioned in the...what...gasp...Koran?!Why Muslims Love Jesus Too
December 23, 2014
I am lucky on Secret Six to have an editor, Mark Doyle, who agrees, we want people to gasp out loud.Gail Simone’s Bisexual Catman and the ‘Secret Six’
December 6, 2014
To be clear, I was not treading anywhere near the even more incomprehensible realm of (gasp) relationship definition.What Should I Call the Man I Love?
November 18, 2014
Parkes managed to gasp through the choking, “Is there something wrong with the money?”Inside London’s Wild Brixton Academy: How Gangsters and Kurt Cobain Made It London’s Top Music Venue
September 29, 2014
When she had finished, something like a gasp went through the room.The Bacillus of Beauty
I could only just gasp along the way you do in a dream when there's a ghost gaining on you.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Her gasp of astonishment was lost in the chorus of congratulatory cries.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
Then he disappeared with a suddenness that made the colonel and Dick gasp.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
Then a reporter leaped aboard, and ere I could gasp held me in his toils.American Notes
- (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 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 gasp
see last gasp.