Definition of gulp in English:



  • 1 Swallow (drink or food) quickly or in large mouthfuls, often audibly.

    ‘he smiled and gulped his milk’
    • ‘She gulped the drink down before ordering another one.’
    • ‘Eat small meals, especially in the evening, and don't gulp food.’
    • ‘After gulping the orange juice down while leaning against the counter, I straighten up, rinse my glass and begin to head towards the hallway.’
    • ‘They're gulping whiskies and looking at images of carnage.’
    • ‘This one girl gulped her drink greedily, only to then launch into this big thing about how we'd bought such cheap wine or champagne or whatever.’
    • ‘Kieran gulped the wine thirstily, and regarded the food without enthusiasm.’
    • ‘By the time I'd gulped a coffee and got my legs working, it was quite bright.’
    • ‘The villagers were still warmly ensconced in their homes, some still clad in their sarongs, sitting with their hands clasped round their knees, gulping their hot coffee or smoking cigarettes.’
    • ‘The breaks were used to eat protein-rich snacks and energy-boosting beverages were often gulped down while still dancing.’
    • ‘He smiled as Elena gulped her wine, put down the glass a bit too forcefully, and leaned on him, letting the sway of the car take it's toll.’
    • ‘He gulped down his food and quickly drained the glass.’
    • ‘If you gulp your food down without chewing it well, all the glucose will be absorbed at the same time, the body will not able to utilise all of it and excess glucose will be converted into fat.’
    • ‘She is a slow thoughtful eater and I gulp my food down but other than that we had lots in common.’
    • ‘Dodge, meanwhile, stayed in the makeshift camp to gulp some food, thinking he was about to work all night.’
    • ‘He stopped only to gulp beer and munch curly fries.’
    • ‘When the food did arrive, Glenn ate with a healthy appetite, tearing into the meat and gulping his ale without any thought of what it must taste like.’
    • ‘Reptiles and birds gulp their food down and hence lose much nutritive value.’
    • ‘He gulped his beverage to the point of making himself burp - out loud.’
    • ‘My aunt had a big and loyal constituency that typically gulped their food.’
    • ‘While adults had to eat at least five cups of ice creams and drink a 300 ml bottle of Pepsi as fast as they could, children had to gobble three ice creams and gulp a soft drink.’
    gobble, guzzle, bolt, wolf, cram, stuff
    swallow, quaff, swill down, down
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    1. 1.1Breathe (air) deeply and quickly.
      ‘we emerged to gulp great lungfuls of cold night air’
      • ‘To cross deeper or broader stretches of water, armadillos gulp air into the digestive tract and swim like a dog.’
      • ‘Herring and other fish with primitive swim bladders must surface and gulp air to keep their bladders full and their bodies buoyant.’
      • ‘Jonathan gulped air, but it didn't seem to do any good.’
      • ‘We were flying at 667 feet per second, and just about the time I remembered to gulp some air, we rolled upside down, then flipped right-side up.’
      • ‘She fell to her knees, gulping the air like it was an elixir.’
      • ‘The paired lung-like swim bladders are connected to the esophagus and are used for respiration; the fish die if denied access to the surface to gulp air.’
      • ‘He awkwardly fell to the ground and sat up, trying to gulp air as fast as possible.’
      • ‘The ball of snow simply packed harder each time I tried to gulp air around it.’
      • ‘Cecil gulped air, it had been very difficult to breathe with such a big weight on him.’
      • ‘I listened hard, trying to gulp air without making a sound.’
      • ‘Their nostrils, one should understand, must be tightly clipped to avoid accidental drowning and since they surface only briefly they must perforce gulp air.’
      • ‘At frequent intervals one can see their silver bellies as they twist about at the surface to gulp air or graze on algae.’
      • ‘Cameron gulped the much-needed air as he turned to see Damian frowning.’
      • ‘Fish will come to the surface and appear to gulp air, and snails, crayfish, and other organisms may actually climb out on the bank or up on emergent objects.’
      • ‘I gulped sea air, pressing hard on the acupressure points I'd learned to halt nausea.’
      • ‘But as it starts the transition to froghood, it develops lungs - forcing the tadpole to swim frequently to the surface to gulp air.’
      • ‘She gulped air, then pulled herself up to float as the water rose to six feet then seven feet, the ceiling was ten feet high, three feet now.’
      • ‘They may do it to gulp air, or perhaps just for joy.’
      • ‘I stood on the precipice gulping air, awestruck.’
      • ‘I let more of my weight rest on her stomach until she could only struggle, stop for a while, then struggling when she had gulped enough air.’
      draw, pull, breathe, gasp, sniff
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    2. 1.2[no object]Make effortful breathing or swallowing movements, typically in response to strong emotion.
      ‘fumes seeped in until she was forced to gulp for air’
      ‘she gulped back the tears’
      • ‘I gulped nervously, and shifted my glance to the other two.’
      • ‘Nick gulped, nervously adjusting the collar of his shirt.’
      • ‘He gulped nervously and sweat dripped down his face.’
      • ‘He gulped back his fear and regret as he moved to the ledge.’
      • ‘I gulped nervously and then realized it was a mistake.’
      • ‘She gulped nervously as they disappeared and the creature tucked its membranous wings to itself and rocketed toward the group of the others that had broken out.’
      • ‘I gulped back a laugh and eased up on the gas, slowing down to a steady 70 km/h.’
      • ‘Jim gulped nervously, before dropping the lighter on the fluids.’
      • ‘Amy gulped back the tears as they walked down the hall, talking about what they should do.’
      • ‘She gulped nervously and her stomach felt like it would explode.’
      • ‘I gulped back my tears and the lump in my throat, trying to speak.’
      • ‘She looked up nervously, gulped once and slowly stood up.’
      • ‘I gulped back a sudden need to tear up and waited for him to continue.’
      • ‘She gulped nervously, realizing with a crash who it was.’
      • ‘His little hand clutched the edge of his seat as he looked nervously around, gulping at the weird glow on the other people's faces.’
      • ‘I gulped nervously as Andrea, Ariel and Mindy began to tiptoe closer to the security house, which was almost twenty feet away from them.’
      • ‘He gulped again and asked nervously, ‘Anyone see a little tan cat run through here?’’
      • ‘I gulped nervously, not liking her presence in the room.’
      • ‘He felt himself go dizzy, and had to put his head against a pillow slowly, closing his eyes and gulping nervously, not daring to move, in case he woke her up.’
      • ‘He gulps, and his emotions retreat behind a dispassionate mask.’
      choke back, fight back, hold back, hold in, keep back, restrain, suppress, stifle, smother, strangle, muffle, quench, curb, check, withhold, contain, bottle up
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  • 1An act of gulping food or drink.

    ‘she swallowed the rest of the coffee with a gulp’
    • ‘He went into the kitchen and poured a mug of black coffee and drank it down in three gulps and began to shuffle around in the pantry until he pulled out a loaf of bread and made toast with jam.’
    • ‘She picked up her glass and downed the pink drink in one gulp, then held herself very still for a moment.’
    • ‘The redhead downed his drink in one gulp, and made a foul face.’
    • ‘Not even thinking about it, I accept and down the drink in one gulp.’
    • ‘Tarantino is very clear about this: we see Bill open the bottle and drink the first shot in a single gulp, and we see him trying to shake the last drop out of the bottle when it is empty.’
    • ‘Gemini finished off her drink in one large gulp and then sprang from her stool.’
    • ‘Sitting down on one of the chairs at a round metal white table he grabbed a full pot of black coffee and drank it all in a few gulps.’
    • ‘I drank it in three gulps, putting the glass in the sink afterwards.’
    • ‘‘Defeat and victory, it's all the same thing, it all requires a stiff drink,’ he says, between gulps of Guinness.’
    • ‘He rose from his seat to stand up, too… and she grabbed the goblet and downed the red drink in one gulp.’
    • ‘She swallowed the last of her tea in a single gulp and looked desultorily at the empty cup.’
    • ‘He downed the drink in one gulp and sent the glass crashing into the flames of the open hearth embedded in the left wall.’
    • ‘‘Sure Dad,’ I said sarcastically, finishing the rest of my drink in one gulp.’
    • ‘She downed the entire contents of her drink in one gulp.’
    • ‘He drank deep, downing the glass in a single gulp.’
    • ‘Carlos grabbed one right after him and drank it in three gulps.’
    • ‘Bell downs his coffee in a few gulps, warming to his subject.’
    • ‘Jessica made it over back to her table and took her drink in one gulp.’
    • ‘The tired rebel looks at the vile for a moment and in one gulp downs the drink.’
    • ‘River laughed again and he reached for the small cup of orange juice and opened it and drank it in one gulp.’
    1. 1.1A large mouthful of liquid hastily drunk.
      ‘Titch took a gulp of beer and wiped his mouth on his sleeve’
      • ‘Paul quickly got a large glass of chilled water at his request and sat in the chair opposite him while he drank in large gulps.’
      • ‘Taking a long gulp of his drink and drying his mouth on his already dirtied shirt he ordered me to pay the cable bill first.’
      • ‘I took a gulp of water, unable to take my eyes off the pie.’
      • ‘Taking a gulp of water, Jake stared off into space for a moment.’
      • ‘Satisfied, she drank down several large gulps.’
      • ‘He was still standing, but taking huge gulps of his drink.’
      • ‘‘This is a good place to do science,’ he said, then took a gulp of his decaf.’
      • ‘After she drank a few gulps, she went back to the living room and went out the front door.’
      • ‘He drank a few gulps from the glass before setting it down at the table.’
      • ‘The two boys paused at the cross walk and took a gulp of water.’
      • ‘I took a gulp of it and burned my tongue in the process.’
      • ‘She got a brew of her own and started drinking in big gulps.’
      • ‘She drank it in big gulps, but managed to make the water spill all over her top.’
      • ‘She takes a gulp of her water and pours the rest in the sink.’
      • ‘Once he took a gulp of that water he felt entirely recovered.’
      • ‘When we got inside, I sat on one of the beds and started stuffing my face with the bread and cheese I bought, once in a while pausing to take a gulp of water.’
      • ‘His heart began to beat faster and he took a large gulp from his drink.’
      • ‘It was still a quite strong drink, and frankly, it wasn't something you'd drink in big gulps but was a sort of thing which would make you satisfied with a few sips out of it.’
      • ‘Tess started drinking big gulps of her cold drink.’
      • ‘After taking a big gulp of the yummy drink I went back into the garage.’
      mouthful, swallow, draught
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    2. 1.2A large quantity of air breathed in.
      • ‘Breathing in a fresh gulp of air, she couldn't believe how pure it tasted.’
      • ‘She inhaled sharply, savouring her last breath as her lungs filled with one final gulp of air.’
      • ‘She could see Raven drinking in greedy gulps of air.’
      • ‘Jesse managed to get all that out in one breath, taking a large gulp of air after.’
      • ‘I asked, taking a big gulp of air.’
      • ‘His face went red as he choked on whatever it was that he was drinking, and only after a few moments of banging on his chest was he able to swallow it, breathing in grateful gulps of air.’
      • ‘We all breathed gulps of air, clean fresh, honest air, not caring to know where it came from, where it was going, or why it smelled clean.’
      • ‘She was clad in only the bottom half of her dress and her very undergarments, but that did not phase her as she breathed in deep soothing gulps of air, relishing as it moved in and out of her lungs.’
      • ‘He took in a huge gulp of air.’
      • ‘Realizing she had been holding her breath, she let it out now, in big gulps, breathing in and out to fill her starved lungs as well as to steady her nerves.’
      • ‘I breathed in short, delicate gulps of air; but they simply lodged themselves in my windpipe.’
      • ‘I came up from the water gasping, choking, and unable to get a true gulp of air.’
      • ‘She took a few gulps, breathed out and glanced at the scenery before her.’
      • ‘I gasped, taking gulps of the cooler air, pressing myself to the floorboards.’
      • ‘I finally was able to open my eyes and get myself out of the dream, and I sat up and swallowed several gulps of air, sure that if I didn't get enough air in I was going to die on the spot.’
      • ‘He opened one of the glass doors of the hotel, and stepping out, I breathed in a huge gulp of the cool evening air and shivered a little.’
      • ‘Jon's laugh starts from his throat and it comes out in quick spurts and gulps of air.’
      • ‘Finally breathing, he took a big gulp of fresh air and shrank to the ground, collapsing to his hands and knees.’
      • ‘He had felt strong and safe as he had breathed in deep gulps of cold, sea air.’
      • ‘He breathed in huge gulps of air as the heavy pounding flooded his ears, the pounding of his heart and the harsh gasps of air.’
    3. 1.3A swallowing movement of the throat.
      ‘the chairman gave an audible gulp’
      • ‘Plenty of adrenaline, audible gulps and raised arms expecting to defend oneself from ghostly ghouls and fiends, had now been replaced by a sense of confusion and a nagging anti-climatic feel.’
      • ‘He watched as Luna took a gulp and cleared her throat.’
      • ‘Caleb choked back a gulp and offered up a weak smile.’
      • ‘In the silence of the echoing marble hall, Marlo's gulp was audible and the shake in her hand as she pointed at Marion was all too clear.’
      • ‘With a very audible gulp Brian hooked his right foot into the stirrup.’


  • at a gulp

    • With one gulp.

      ‘having emptied his glass at a gulp, Roger pulled out a cigar’
      • ‘He took it, and filling half-a-tumbler with neat spirit drained it at a gulp.’
      • ‘It's hard for visitors to keep things straight in their heads when they can't see them and take them in at a gulp.’
      • ‘Its tentacles, as long and wide as rivers, end in yawning mouths which sweep the ground, devouring the nomads and their ponies, hundreds at a gulp.’
      • ‘Pressing now on the hilts, he swallows the four blades at a gulp and then he takes them out leisurely, one by one.’
      • ‘Ulrich, in turn, recovered his senses, but as he felt faint with terror, he went and got a bottle of brandy out of the sideboard, and he drank off several glasses, one after anther, at a gulp.’
      • ‘‘The world knows of my virtue,’ the old man said as he downed a glass of wine at a gulp while they prepared for a session.’
      • ‘At the ‘Criterion’ he turned in and had a drink, and, bolder for the wine which he had swallowed at a gulp, he told himself that he would do nothing of the sort.’
      • ‘This is the kind of book you take in at a gulp and, having reached the last page, put down reluctantly.’
      • ‘The girl threw one out at the door, and the giantess swallowed it at a gulp and demanded more.’
      • ‘It is a good book, and one I also devoured at a gulp.’


Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch gulpen, of imitative origin.