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verb (used without object), gur·gled, gur·gling.
  1. to flow in a broken, irregular, noisy current: The water gurgled from the bottle.
  2. to make a sound as of water doing this (often used of birds or of human beings).
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verb (used with object), gur·gled, gur·gling.
  1. to utter or express with a gurgling sound: The baby gurgled its delight.
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  1. the act or noise of gurgling.
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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


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

Related Words

giggle, cackle, fit, roar, crow, bubbling, shout, chortle, peal, snicker, chuckle, gesture, rejoicing, shriek, guffaw, giggling, howling, babbling, amusement, cachinnation

Examples from the Web for gurgling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There was trouble in that place—moaning, splashing, gurgling, and the clank of machinery.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • No sound was heard but the gurgling of blood that ran out in floods on the floor.

    Japanese Fairy World

    William Elliot Griffis

  • It has been described as a "rumbling" noise, but I think "gurgling" is better.

    The Emma Gees

    Herbert Wes McBride

  • White made a gurgling noise in his throat and held on to the desk for support.

    The Green Rust

    Edgar Wallace

  • The hag paused, cracked forth a gurgling scream, then proceeded.

British Dictionary definitions for gurgling


verb (intr)
  1. (of liquids, esp of rivers, streams, etc) to make low bubbling noises when flowing
  2. to utter low throaty bubbling noises, esp as a sign of contentmentthe baby gurgled with delight
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  1. the act or sound of gurgling
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Derived Formsgurgling, adjective

Word Origin

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 gurgling



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper