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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce gulf (audio)

Dictionary definition of gulf

A large and significant body of water that is partially enclosed by land, typically characterized by a significant indentation or wide expanse.
"The ship sailed through the narrow gulf, surrounded by towering cliffs."

Detailed meaning of gulf

A gulf is usually larger than a bay but smaller than a sea or ocean. It is formed when the landmass surrounding the body of water extends out, creating an inlet or a deep indentation along the coastline. Gulfs can be found in various parts of the world and are often named after the region or country they are located in, such as the Gulf of Mexico or the Persian Gulf. They can range in size from relatively small, like the Gulf of Finland, to massive expanses like the Gulf of Alaska. Gulfs are often important geographically, economically, and ecologically, providing sheltered waters, valuable habitats, and strategic locations for trade, fishing, and transportation.

Example sentences containing gulf

1. The Gulf of Mexico is known for its rich biodiversity and oil reserves.
2. The Gulf of Oman is a vital shipping route connecting the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz.
3. We enjoyed swimming in the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand during our vacation.
4. The oil spill in the Gulf of Alaska had devastating consequences for marine life.
5. The Gulf of Aqaba offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
6. The Persian Gulf is a major hub for global oil production and trade.

History and etymology of gulf

The noun 'gulf' has its etymological origins in the Middle English word 'golfe,' which was borrowed from the Old French term 'golfe' as well. The Old French 'golfe' can be traced back to the Late Latin 'gulfus,' which referred to a large bay or gulf of the sea. The Latin term 'gulfus' itself likely had earlier Greek influences, possibly from 'kolpos,' meaning 'bosom' or 'bay.' The concept of a gulf, as a significant indentation or wide expanse of water partially enclosed by land, has deep historical and linguistic connections that span across different languages and cultures. The word 'gulf' aptly conveys the idea of a distinct and often vast body of water surrounded by land, reflecting its rich etymological heritage.

Quiz: Find the meaning of gulf

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Further usage examples of gulf

1. The Gulf of California is home to diverse marine species, including dolphins and whales.
2. The sailors navigated through treacherous waters in the Gulf of Aden.
3. The Gulf of Finland froze during the winter months, allowing ice skating and ice fishing.
4. The Gulf of Guinea is known for its piracy issues, posing challenges to maritime security.
5. The Gulf of Suez serves as an important route for ships traveling between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
6. The Gulf of Mexico is known for its warm waters and vibrant marine life.
7. A stunning sunset over the tranquil waters of the Arabian Gulf.
8. The Persian Gulf plays a critical role in global oil supply and trade.
9. The Gulf of California is renowned for its diverse marine ecosystems.
10. Sailboats gracefully navigate the crystal-clear waters of the gulf.
11. Hurricanes often originate in the warm and turbulent waters of a gulf.
12. The Bering Gulf separates the rugged coastlines of Russia and Alaska.
13. Offshore oil rigs are a common sight in the vast expanse of the gulf.
14. The Gulf of Thailand boasts pristine beaches and thriving tourism.
15. Environmentalists tirelessly work to protect the fragile gulf ecosystem.
16. The Gulf of Guinea faces ongoing challenges with piracy and security.
17. Many migratory species depend on the powerful currents of the Gulf Stream.
18. The Red Sea is a renowned gulf, attracting divers from around the world.
19. Coastal cities flourish along the bustling shores of the gulf.
20. The Gulf of Aden serves as a crucial shipping route connecting continents.
21. Fishing communities rely on the abundant resources of this productive gulf.
22. In winter, the Gulf of Bothnia often freezes, creating icy landscapes.
23. Devastating oil spills can have catastrophic effects on gulf ecosystems.
24. The rich biodiversity of gulf waters is a source of scientific fascination.
25. Exploring the mysterious depths of the gulf is an exhilarating adventure.



expanse, connection, closeness, bridge


SAT 17 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Middle School 16, Geography and Topography

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