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  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡɑɹɡəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)ɡəl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French gargouiller (to gargle), from gargouille (throat). Compare gargoyle.


gargle (third-person singular simple present gargles, present participle gargling, simple past and past participle gargled)

Examples (a gargling sound)
  1. (intransitive) to clean one's mouth by holding water or some other liquid in the back of the mouth and blowing air out from the lungs
    • 1915, Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark:
      She hated the poisoned feeling in her throat, and no matter how often she gargled she felt unclean and disgusting.
  2. (intransitive) to make a sound like the one made while gargling
  3. (transitive) to clean a specific part of the body by gargling (almost always throat or mouth)
    • 1893, Gilbert Parker, Mrs. Falchion:
      They don't gargle their throats with anything stronger than coffee at this tavern.
  4. (transitive) to use (a liquid) for purposes of cleaning one's mouth or throat by gargling.
    Every morning he gargled a little cheap Scotch.


gargle (plural gargles)

  1. a liquid used for gargling
    • 1861, Young's Demonstrative Translation of Scientific Secrets:
      Take of borax 1 drm., tinc. of myrrh 1/2 oz., clarified honey 1 oz., rose or distilled water, 4 oz.; mix. To be used as a gargle or mouth wash in sore mouth or affection of the gums.
  2. the sound of gargling
  3. (slang) lager, drink
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


gargle (plural gargles)

  1. Obsolete form of gargoyle.