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gulp (plural gulps)

  1. The usual amount swallowed.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      What the liquor was I do not know, but it was not so strong but that I could swallow it in great gulps and found it less burning than my burning throat.
  2. The sound of swallowing.
  3. A sound of swallowing indicating fear.
    • 1906, Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Chapter 17
      Little Stanislovas was also trembling, and all but too frightened to speak. "They — they sent me to tell you — " he said, with a gulp.
    • 1994, James Charles Collins, Jerry I. Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
      Indeed, the envisioned future should produce a bit of "the gulp factor" […], there should be an almost audible "gulp".


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gulp (third-person singular simple present gulps, present participle gulping, simple past and past participle gulped)

  1. To swallow eagerly, or in large draughts; to swallow up; to take down at one swallow.
    • Cowper
      He does not swallow, but he gulps it down.
    • Fielding
      The old man [] glibly gulped down the whole narrative.
  2. To react nervously by swallowing.
    • 1930, P. G. Wodehouse, A Damsel in Distress, 2004, page 198
      The man eyed Percy with a chilly eye. "Well," he said, "What's troublin you?" Percy gulped. The man's mere appearance was a sedative. "Er-nothing! […]"
    • 2003, Carl Deuker, High Heat, page 140
      I'd always been nervous-excited; this was nervous-terrified. When I finished puking, I sat down gulping air for a while, trying to pull myself together.
    • 2006, Nancy Anne Nicholson, Thin White Female in No Acute Distress: A Memoir, page 187
      My heart was beating madly and I was gulping nervous energy.





  1. Indication of an involuntary fear reaction.
    • 1982, Gary Smalley, If Only He Knew, page 163
      "Honey, I know you want to go to their home next week, hut there's one thing that keeps happening when we're together that really drives me away from social gatherings in general. (Oh, what is it … gulp.) Well, I'm not sure I can really explain it without offending you. (Gulp, gulp.) Do you really want to talk about it? (Yes.) […]"

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

  • slug (in the sense of an amount swallowed)


External links[edit]




gulp f (plural gulpen, diminutive gulpje n)

  1. fly; opening in a man's pants to facilitate relieving himself.