verb (used without object)

to gasp or choke, as when taking large drafts of a liquid.

verb (used with object)

to swallow eagerly, or in large drafts or morsels (often followed by down): He gulps down his food like a starving man.
to suppress, subdue, or choke back as if by swallowing: to gulp down a sob.


the act of gulping: He drank the whole bottle of beer in one gulp.
the amount swallowed at one time; mouthful.

Origin of gulp

1400–50; late Middle English gulpen (v.); compare Dutch gulpen, Norwegian glupa
Related formsgulp·er, noungulp·ing·ly, adverbgulp·y, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for gulped

Contemporary Examples of gulped

Historical Examples of gulped

  • Mr. Plimmins gulped down his tea, and kicked Philip under the table.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • "If—if you wish a thing you—you get—you get it," she gulped.

    Pee-wee Harris

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

  • He stopped speaking and only gulped down the risings in his throat.

    Master and Man

    Leo Tolstoy

  • He gulped the stuff down gratefully, then said, "Tell me your troubles, Hank."

    Spacemen Never Die!

    Morris Hershman

  • "Ummm, thanks," Marilou said, and gulped down half the contents.

British Dictionary definitions for gulped



(tr often foll by down) to swallow rapidly, esp in large mouthfulsto gulp down food
(tr often foll by back) to stifle or choketo gulp back sobs
(intr) to swallow air convulsively, as while drinking, because of nervousness, surprise, etc
(intr) to make a noise, as when swallowing too quickly


the act of gulping
the quantity taken in a gulp
Derived Formsgulper, noungulpingly, adverbgulpy, adjective

Word Origin for gulp

C15: from Middle Dutch gulpen, of imitative origin
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 gulped



late 14c., a native coinage or else from Flemish gulpe or Dutch gulpen "to gush, pour forth, guzzle, swallow," in any case possibly of imitative origin (cf. Swedish dialectal glapa "to gulp down"). Related: Gulped; gulping.



1560s, from gulp (v.), or else from Flemish gulpe, Dutch gulp "stream of water, large draught."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper