1. A hollow place in the earth; an abyss; a deep chasm or basin, "He then surveyed Hell and the gulf between." (Milton) "Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed." (Luke xvi. 26)
2. That which swallows; the gullet.
3. That which swallows irretrievably; a whirlpool; a sucking eddy. "A gulf of ruin, swallowing gold." (Tennyson)
4. <geography> A portion of an ocean or sea extending into the land; a partially land-locked sea; as, the Gulf of Mexico.
A large deposit of ore in a lode.
<geography> Gulf Stream, the warm ocean current of the North Atlantic.
It originates in the westward equatorial current, due to the trade winds, is deflected northward by Cape St. Roque through the Gulf of Mexico, and flows parallel to the coast of North America, turning eastward off the island of Nantucket. Its average rate of flow is said to be about two miles an hour. The similar Japan current, or Kuro-Siwo, is sometimes called the Gulf Stream of the Pacific.
<botany> Gulf weed, a branching seaweed (Sargassum bacciferum, or sea grape), having numerous berrylike air vessels, found in the Gulf Stream, in the Sargasso Sea, and elsewhere.
Origin: F. Golfe, It. Golfo, fr. Gr. Bosom, bay, gulf, LGr.
(01 Mar 1998)