verb (used without object), gur·gled, gur·gling.

to flow in a broken, irregular, noisy current: The water gurgled from the bottle.
to make a sound as of water doing this (often used of birds or of human beings).

verb (used with object), gur·gled, gur·gling.

to utter or express with a gurgling sound: The baby gurgled its delight.


the act or noise of gurgling.

Origin of gurgle

1555–65; compare Dutch, Middle Low German gorgelen, German gurgeln to gargle; akin to Latin gurguliō throat
Related formsgur·gling·ly, adverb

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

Related Words for gurgle

slosh, babble, lap, crow, wash, splash, ripple, bubble, plash, purl

Examples from the Web for gurgle

Historical Examples of gurgle

  • He listened but heard only the gurgle of the Vulcan's wake and the creak of her plates.

  • The yell died away to a gurgle, pinched short by the Winslow fingers.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The gurgle of a half-frozen waterfall came from the distant Ghyll.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • It was only to lick his thick lips and gurgle 233 noisily in his fat throat.

  • It ended suddenly on its highest note with a choke and a gurgle.

British Dictionary definitions for gurgle


verb (intr)

(of liquids, esp of rivers, streams, etc) to make low bubbling noises when flowing
to utter low throaty bubbling noises, esp as a sign of contentmentthe baby gurgled with delight


the act or sound of gurgling
Derived Formsgurgling, adjective

Word Origin for gurgle

C16: perhaps from Vulgar Latin gurgulāre, from Latin gurguliō gullet
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 gurgle

early 15c., medical term for "gurgling heard in the abdomen," a native, echoic formation, or ultimately from Latin gurguliare, perhaps via Dutch, German gurgeln. Extended (non-anatomical) use, in reference to water over stones, etc., is first recorded 1713. "This phenomenon of long specialized use before becoming a part of the general vocabulary is often found in English" [Barnhart]. Related: Gurgled; gurgling. As a noun from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper