gulf

[ guhlf ]
/ gʌlf /
||

noun

a portion of an ocean or sea partly enclosed by land.
a deep hollow; chasm or abyss.
any wide separation, as in position, status, or education.
something that engulfs or swallows up.

verb (used with object)

to swallow up; engulf.

Origin of gulf

1300–50; Middle English go(u)lf < Old French golfe < Italian golfo < Late Greek kólphos, Greek kólpos bosom, lap, bay
Related formsgulf·like, adjectivegulf·y, adjective
Can be confusedbay cove gulf inlet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gulf

British Dictionary definitions for gulf (1 of 2)

gulf

/ (ɡʌlf) /

noun

a large deep bay
a deep chasm
something that divides or separates, such as a lack of understanding
something that engulfs, such as a whirlpool

verb

(tr) to swallow up; engulf
Derived Formsgulflike, adjectivegulfy, adjective

Word Origin for gulf

C14: from Old French golfe, from Italian golfo, from Greek kolpos

British Dictionary definitions for gulf (2 of 2)

Gulf

/ (ɡʌlf) /

noun the Gulf

the Persian Gulf
Australian
  1. the Gulf of Carpentaria
  2. (modifier) of, relating to, or adjoining the GulfGulf country
NZ the Hauraki Gulf
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 gulf

gulf


n.

late 14c., "profound depth;" geographic sense is c.1400; from Old French golf "a gulf, whirlpool," from Italian golfo "a gulf, a bay," from Late Latin colfos, from Greek kolpos "bay, gulf," earlier "trough between waves, fold of a garment," originally "bosom," the common notion being "curved shape," from PIE *kwelp- "to arch, to vault" (cf. Old English hwealf, a-hwielfan "to overwhelm"). Latin sinus underwent the same development, being used first for "bosom," later for "gulf." Replaced Old English sæ-earm. Figurative sense of "a wide interval" is from 1550s. The Gulf Stream (1775) takes its name from the Gulf of Mexico.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for gulf

gulf

[ gŭlf ]

A large body of ocean or sea water that is partly surrounded by land.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.