February 17, 2012
gullible (adjective)
\GUL-uh-bul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: easily deceived or cheated
How do you use it?
Stacy tried to convince some of her classmates that the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary, but none of them were gullible enough to believe her.
Are you a word wiz?

It's an old joke to try to convince people that "gullible" isn't in the dictionary. We're not trying to fool you here, though. We're just asking you to tell us which of the following you think is the origin of the word "gullible."

Don't worry, you're not being gullible if you believe us that D, the verb "gull," is the right answer. Yes, there really is a verb "gull," though it's not a common word. It means "to take advantage of a person who is foolish or unwary" or "to deceive." There is even a corresponding noun "gull," which refers to a person who is easily cheated or deceived. The verb and noun "gull" are much older than "gullible." They've been around for over 400 years, while "gullible" is less than 200 years old. "Gullible" is by far, however, the most common of the three. Really.
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