v. gasped, gasp·ing, gasps
1. To draw in the breath sharply, as from shock.
2. To breathe convulsively or laboriously: gasping for air.
To utter in a breathless manner.
A short convulsive intake or catching of the breath.
[Middle English gaspen, gaispen, to gape, yawn, from Old Norse geispa, to yawn.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.