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Either gull +‎ -ible, or from dialectal Middle English gull (newly hatched bird), perhaps from Old Norse gulr, from the hue of its down.[1]



gullible (comparative more gullible, superlative most gullible)

  1. Easily deceived or duped; naive, easily cheated or fooled.
    Andrew is so gullible, the way he still believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman at the age of fourteen.
    Synonyms: fleeceable, green, naif, naive; see also Thesaurus:gullible

Derived terms[edit]



gullible (plural gullibles)

  1. A gullible person; someone easily fooled or tricked.
    • 1991, Guy Endore, Babouk: Voices of Resistance (page 70)
      They pictured to these gullibles the unearthly delights that were to be enjoyed as servants of the Spaniards. But such tricks could not last, for Cuba was too close to Saint Domingue, and news of the real conditions leaked across the windward passage and were bruited about.
    • 1995, Sagan, Carl, “The Most Precious Thing”, in The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark[1], First edition, New York: Random House, →ISBN, LCCN 95-34076, OCLC 676826053, page 5:
      Spurious accounts that snare the gullible are readily available. Skeptical treatments are much harder to find.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “gullible”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.