1. a person who is easily deceived or cheated; dupe.

Origin of gull

First recorded in 1540–50; perhaps akin to obsolete gull to swallow, guzzle

Synonyms for gull Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gulled

fool, mislead, dupe, trick, defraud, deceive, gyp, hoodwink, bamboozle

Examples from the Web for gulled

Historical Examples of gulled

  • There are things about which universal sentiment is not to be gulled.

  • He is gulled into the belief that Mrs. Ford expects him again.

    William Shakespeare

    John Masefield

  • He must have gulled this whole territory beautifully to have them swear by him as they do.

    That Girl Montana

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • His imagination, which had led him on so bravely, gulled him sometimes when it came to details.


    Edmund Gosse

  • He was laughed at by one half of the Neighbours, and despised and gulled by the other.

British Dictionary definitions for gulled


  1. any aquatic bird of the genus Larus and related genera, such as L. canus (common gull or mew) having long pointed wings, short legs, and a mostly white plumage: family Laridae, order CharadriiformesRelated adjective: larine
Derived Formsgull-like, adjective

Word Origin for gull

C15: of Celtic origin; compare Welsh gwylan


  1. a person who is easily fooled or cheated
  1. (tr) to fool, cheat, or hoax

Word Origin for gull

C16: perhaps from dialect gull unfledged bird, probably from gul, from Old Norse gulr yellow
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 gulled



shore bird, early 15c. (in a cook book), probably from Brythonic Celtic, cf. Welsh gwylan "gull," Cornish guilan, Breton goelann; all from Old Celtic *voilenno-. Replaced Old English mæw (see mew (n.1)).



cant term for "dupe, sucker, credulous person," 1590s, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from verb meaning "to dupe, cheat" (1540s), earlier "to swallow" (1520s), ultimately from gull "throat, gullet" (early 15c.); see gullet. Or it is perhaps from (or influenced by) the bird (see gull (n.1)); in either case with a sense of "someone who will swallow anything thrown at him." Another possibility is Middle English dialectal gull "newly hatched bird" (late 14c.), which is perhaps from Old Norse golr "yellow," from the hue of its down.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper