gulf


gulf
gulflike, adj.gulfy, adj.
/gulf/, n.
1. a portion of an ocean or sea partly enclosed by land.
2. a deep hollow; chasm or abyss.
3. any wide separation, as in position, status, or education.
4. something that engulfs or swallows up.
v.t.
5. to swallow up; engulf.
[1300-50; ME go(u)lf < OF golfe < It golfo < LGk kólphos, Gk kólpos bosom, lap, bay]
Syn. 2. canyon, gorge, gully, cleft, rift, split.

* * *

I
Any large coastal indentation, similar to a bay but larger.

Most existing gulfs were formed or greatly extended as a result of the rise in sea level that accompanied the ending of the last ice age. Some, such as the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Oman, resulted from warping, folding, or downfaulting of the Earth's crust, which caused parts of the shoreline to drop below sea level. Most gulfs are connected with the sea by one or more straits. A gulf may have a group of islands at its mouth or may open into another gulf. Gulfs may differ from the adjoining sea in water properties and sedimentation.
II
(as used in expressions)
Aden Gulf of
Alaska Gulf of
Aqaba Gulf of
Arta Gulf of
Gulf of Chihli
Bothnia Gulf of
California Gulf of
Carpentaria Gulf of
Fonseca Gulf of
Gdansk Gulf of
Guacanayabo Gulf of
Guinea Gulf of
Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Co.
Khambhat Gulf of
Gulf of Cambay
Laconia Gulf of
Leyte Gulf Battle of
Lion Gulf of
Messenia Gulf of
Mexico Gulf of
Nicoya Gulf of
Oman Gulf of
Paria Gulf of
Persian Gulf War First
Persian Gulf War Second
Riga Gulf of
Saint Lawrence Gulf of
Saint Vincent Gulf
Saint Malo Gulf of
Shelikhov Gulf of
Sidra Gulf of
Gulf of Sirte
Suez Gulf of
Tehuantepec Gulf of
Thailand Gulf of
Gulf of Siam
Tonkin Gulf of
Venice Gulf of
Gulf of Gascony

* * *

 any large coastal indentation. A gulf is similar to a bay both in terms of shape and of origin, but it generally occupies a larger area.

      A brief treatment of gulfs follows. For further discussion, see ocean: Gulfs and bays (ocean).

      Most existing gulfs were formed or greatly extended as a result of the rise in sea level that accompanied the melting of the last Pleistocene glacial ice mass, as vast sections of the continental margins were drowned. Some pronounced coastal concavities, however, have resulted from the warping, folding, or downfaulting of the Earth's crust, which caused large segments of the shoreline to drop below sea level. The Gulf of California and the Gulf of Oman were formed when such tectonic depressions were inundated by the sea.

      Gulfs may occur alone or in groups. Single gulfs generally are formed along linear shores of continents, whereas clusters of gulfs tend to occur along irregular shorelines of complex geologic structure. In most cases, gulfs are connected with the sea by one or more straits. Some gulfs may have a group of islands at their mouths; others may open into another gulf on the opposite side.

      Gulfs may differ from the adjoining sea by virtue of water properties and the processes of sedimentation. Differences of this sort are dictated by the size and shape of a particular gulf as well as by its depth and bottom topography. In a large number of cases, the degree to which a gulf is isolated from the adjacent sea is also a contributing factor.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Gulf — can refer to: *A gulf, usually referring to a large bay that is an arm of an ocean or sea. For example, the Gulf of Mexico is the ninth largest body of water in the world. * Gulf is also a novella by Robert A. Heinlein. * A company, see Gulf Oil… …   Wikipedia

  • Gulf — (g[u^]lf), n. [F. golfe, It. golfo, fr. Gr. ko lpos bosom, bay, gulf, LGr. ko lfos.] 1. A hollow place in the earth; an abyss; a deep chasm or basin, [1913 Webster] He then surveyed Hell and the gulf between. Milton. [1913 Webster] Between us and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gulf — [ gʌlf ] noun count 1. ) a large area of ocean that is almost surrounded by land: the Persian Gulf the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand 2. ) a large and important difference between people or groups: CHASM: trying to close the widening gulf… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Gulf — steht für: Gulf Air, Fluggesellschaft Gulf College, College in Oman Gulf County, County in Florida Gulf (North Carolina), Ort in den Vereinigten Staaten Gulf Oil, amerikanischer Ölkonzern Gulf (Papua Neuguinea), Provinz von Papua Neuguinea Siehe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • gulf — W3 [gʌlf] n [Date: 1300 1400; : French; Origin: golfe, from Greek kolpos arms folded around, bay ] 1.) a large area of sea partly enclosed by land ▪ the Gulf of Mexico 2.) the Gulf the Arabian Gulf, or the countries next to it ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gulf — gulf, chasm, abysm, abyss basically denote a hollow place of vast width and depth in the earth. Gulf and chasm suggest a depth which, though vast, is still measurable; abysm and abyss suggest immeasurable depth. Gulf is the most general term and… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • gulf — (n.) late 14c., profound depth; geographic sense is c.1400; from O.Fr. golf a gulf, whirlpool, from It. golfo a gulf, a bay, from L.L. colfos, from Gk. kolpos bay, gulf, earlier trough between waves, fold of a garment, originally bosom, the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • gulf — [gʌlf] noun [countable] 1. a great difference or lack of understanding between two groups of people: gulf between • The South African Government must intervene to reduce the gulf between white wealth and black poverty. 2. a big difference between …   Financial and business terms

  • gulf — [gulf] n. [ME goulf < OFr golfe < It golfo < LGr kolphos, for Gr kolpos, a fold, bosom, gulf, prob. < IE * kwolpos < base * kwel , to turn > Ger wölben, to arch] 1. a large body of sea or ocean water, typically larger than a bay …   English World dictionary

  • gulf — gulf, bay In their meanings to do with the sealine, bay is the ordinary word, whereas gulf is chiefly reserved as a name for a large or notable stretch of sea (as in the Persian Gulf which is also known as the Gulf) and implies a deeper recess… …   Modern English usage

  • gulf — [n1] sea inlet basin, bay, bayou, bight, cove, firth, harbor, slough, sound, whirlpool; concepts 509,514 gulf [n2] deep, gaping hole abyss, breach, cave, cavity, chasm, cleft, crevasse, depth, depths, distance, expanse, gap, gulch, hiatus, hollow …   New thesaurus


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