Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old Norse
Origin: geispa 'to yawn'


1 verb
1 [intransitive and transitive] to breathe in suddenly in a way that can be heard, especially because you are surprised or in pain
gasp in/with
Ollie gasped with pain and slumped forward.
gasp at
The audience gasped at the splendour of the costumes.
'My leg!' he gasped. 'I think it's broken!'
2 [intransitive] to breathe quickly in a way that can be heard because you are having difficulty breathing [↪ pant]
gasp for air/breath
Brendan climbed slowly, gasping for breath.

be gasping (for something)

British English spoken to feel that you urgently need something such as a drink or cigarette:
I'm gasping for a pint!
WORD FOCUS: breathe WORD FOCUS: breathe
to breathe in: inhale formal

to breathe out: exhale formal

to breathe noisily: sniff, snore (when sleeping)
, sigh

to breathe with difficulty: gasp, pant, wheeze, be short of breath, be out of breath

to be unable to breathe: choke, suffocate

See also

Dictionary results for "gasp"
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