• synonyms


  1. a portion of an ocean or sea partly enclosed by land.
  2. a deep hollow; chasm or abyss.
  3. any wide separation, as in position, status, or education.
  4. something that engulfs or swallows up.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to swallow up; engulf.
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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

Synonyms for gulf

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gulfed

Historical Examples of gulfed

  • Cameron is gulfed, together with other three Trinity scholars!

    The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I (of II)

    Charles Darwin

  • They were redeeming their characters; they had not settled down into the ordinary or been gulfed in the slough of the commonplace.

    Tristram of Blent

    Anthony Hope

  • And how can we, gulfed as we are in this present whirlpool, conceive rightly the glory which awaits us?

British Dictionary definitions for gulfed


  1. a large deep bay
  2. a deep chasm
  3. something that divides or separates, such as a lack of understanding
  4. something that engulfs, such as a whirlpool
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  1. (tr) to swallow up; engulf
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Derived Formsgulflike, adjectivegulfy, adjective

Word Origin for gulf

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


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



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gulfed in Science


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