gulp / gəlp/ • v. [tr.] swallow (drink or food) quickly or in large mouthfuls, often audibly: he smiled and gulped his milk. ∎ breathe (air) deeply and quickly: we emerged to gulp great lungfuls of cold night air. ∎ [intr.] make effortful breathing or swallowing movements, typically in response to strong emotion: fumes seeped in until she was forced to gulp for air she gulped back the tears. • n. an act of gulping food or drink: she swallowed the rest of the coffee with a gulp. ∎ a large mouthful of liquid hastily drunk: Titch took a gulp of beer and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. ∎ a large quantity of air breathed in. ∎ a swallowing movement of the throat: the chairman gave an audible gulp. PHRASES: at a gulp with one gulp: having emptied his glass at a gulp, Roger pulled out a cigar.DERIVATIVES: gulpy adj.
a mouthful; a small amount; few in number.
Examples: gulp of air, 1700; of cormorants; of swallows; of tea, 1865; of cold water, 1755; of wine, 1862.