[ guhlf ]
/ gʌlf /


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.

Nearby words

  1. gulbarga,
  2. gulbenkian,
  3. gulch,
  4. gulden,
  5. gules,
  6. gulf cooperation council,
  7. gulf intracoastal waterway,
  8. gulf of mexico,
  9. gulf states,
  10. gulf stream

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gulfed

British Dictionary definitions for gulfed


/ (ɡʌlf) /


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


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

Word Origin for gulf

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


/ (ɡʌlf) /

noun the Gulf

the Persian Gulf
  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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for gulfed


[ 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.