gasp

[ gasp, gahsp ]
/ gæsp, gɑsp /

noun

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to utter with gasps (often followed by out, forth, away, etc.): She gasped out the words.
to breathe or emit with gasps (often followed by away).

Idioms

    last gasp, the point of death; dying: At his last gasp he confessed to the murder.

Origin of gasp

1350–1400; Middle English gaspen, probably Old English *gāspen, equivalent to Old Norse geispa; akin to gape

Related forms

gasp·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for last gasp

gasp

/ (ɡɑːsp) /

verb

(intr) to draw in the breath sharply, convulsively, or with effort, esp in expressing awe, horror, etc
(intr; foll by after or for) to crave
(tr often foll by out) to utter or emit breathlessly

noun

a short convulsive intake of breath
a short convulsive burst of speech
at the last gasp
  1. at the point of death
  2. at the last moment

Derived Forms

gaspingly, adverb

Word Origin for gasp

C14: from Old Norse geispa to yawn; related to Swedish dialect gispa, Danish gispe
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

Idioms and Phrases with last gasp (1 of 2)

last gasp

The moment before death; also, the end. For example, “Fight till the last gasp” (Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, 1:2), or He was determined to stay at the party until the last gasp. This idiom alludes to taking one's last breath, literally (first example) or figuratively (second example). [Late 1500s]


Idioms and Phrases with last gasp (2 of 2)

gasp

see last gasp.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.