Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Origin: Probably from Middle Dutch gulpen 'to swallow'

gulp

1 verb
     
gulp1
1 also gulp down [transitive] to swallow large quantities of food or drink quickly [= bolt]:
She gulped down her breakfast and ran for the bus.
2 [intransitive] to swallow suddenly because you are surprised or nervous:
I gulped when I saw the bill.
3 also gulp in [transitive] to breathe in large amounts of air quickly:
We rushed outside and gulped in the sweet fresh air.
4

be gulping for air

to breathe in large amounts of air quickly because you do not have enough air in your body

gulp something ↔ back

phrasal verb
to stop yourself from expressing your feelings:
Sandra tried to gulp back her tears.

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