Meaning of “gasp” in the English Dictionary

"gasp" in British English

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gaspverb [ I ]

uk /ɡɑːsp/ us /ɡæsp/

C2 to take a short, quick breath through the mouth, especially because of surprise, pain, or shock:

When she saw the money hidden in the box she gasped in surprise.
[ + speech ] "Help me!" he gasped.

C2 to breathe loudly and with difficulty, trying to get more air:

He pulled her aboard the boat and she sprawled on the deck, coughing and gasping for breath.

More examples

  • When they announced that Chris had won first prize, he gasped in astonishment.
  • He opened the box and gasped to see all the treasure inside.
  • "How on earth did you do that?," she gasped.
  • He struggled out of the pool and lay on his back, gasping.
  • A loud crash from the other room made us gasp and run to the door.

gaspnoun [ C ]

uk /ɡɑːsp/ us /ɡæsp/

(Definition of “gasp” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"gasp" in American English

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gaspverb [ I/T ]

us /ɡæsp/

to take a short quick breath through the mouth, esp. because of surprise, pain, or shock:

[ I ] When he collapsed on stage, the audience gasped.
[ T ] "Help me!" he gasped.
gasp
noun [ C ] us /ɡæsp/

The circus acrobats drew gasps from the crowd.

(Definition of “gasp” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)