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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To force exhaled air through a liquid held in the back of the mouth, with the head tilted back, in order to cleanse or medicate the mouth or throat.
  • intransitive v. To produce the sound of gargling when speaking or singing.
  • transitive v. To rinse or medicate (the mouth or throat) by gargling.
  • transitive v. To circulate or apply (a medicine or solution) by gargling.
  • transitive v. To utter with a gargling sound.
  • n. A medicated solution for gargling.
  • n. A gargling sound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to clean one's mouth by holding water or some other liquid in the back of the mouth and blowing air out from the lungs
  • v. to make a sound like the one made while gargling
  • v. to clean a specific part of the body by gargling (almost always throat or mouth)
  • v. to use (a liquid) for purposes of cleaning one's mouth or throat by gargling.
  • v. to make a gargling sound.
  • n. a liquid used for gargling
  • n. the sound of gargling
  • n. lager, drink

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See gargoyle.
  • transitive v. To wash or rinse, as the mouth or throat, particular the latter, agitating the liquid (water or a medicinal preparation) by an expulsion of air from the lungs.
  • transitive v. To warble; to sing as if gargling.
  • n. A liquid, as water or some medicated preparation, used to cleanse the mouth and throat, especially for a medical effect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wash or rinse, as the mouth or throat, with a liquid preparation, which is kept from descending into the stomach by a gentle expiration of air.
  • To warble.
  • n. Any liquid preparation for rinsing the mouth and throat.
  • n. A distemper in swine; garget.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a medicated solution used for gargling and rinsing the mouth
  • v. utter with gargling or burbling sounds
  • v. rinse one's mouth and throat with mouthwash
  • n. the sound produced while gargling


French gargouiller, from Old French.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French gargouiller ("to gargle"), from gargouille ("throat"). Compare gargoyle. (Wiktionary)



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  • JM often gargles just to see if his throat leaks.

    July 17, 2011