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From French golfe, from Italian golfo, from Late Latin colfos, from Ancient Greek κόλπος (kólpos, bosom, gulf).



gulf (plural gulfs)

  1. A hollow place in the earth; an abyss; a deep chasm or basin.
    • Milton
      He then surveyed / Hell and the gulf between.
    • Bible, Luke xvi. 26
      Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed.
  2. (obsolete) That which swallows; the gullet.
  3. That which swallows irretrievably; a whirlpool; a sucking eddy.
    • Tennyson
      a gulf of ruin, swallowing gold
  4. (geography) A portion of an ocean or sea extending into the land; a partially landlocked sea
    the Gulf of Mexico
    the Persian Gulf
  5. (mining) A large deposit of ore in a lode.
  6. A difference, especially a large difference, between groups
    • 2012 September 7, Phil McNulty, “Moldova 0-5 England”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      England were graphically illustrating the huge gulf in class between the sides and it was no surprise when Lampard added the second just before the half hour. Steven Gerrard found his Liverpool team-mate Glen Johnson and Lampard arrived in the area with perfect timing to glide a header beyond Namasco.

Derived terms[edit]