Deep, wide and often filled with water, a gulf is any vast and seemingly unbridgeable area.

You've probably heard of the Gulf of Mexico, that large body of water that's partly surrounded by land. But a gulf doesn't have to be all about the ocean. If two people have vastly different cultures or opinions, you could say that there's a gulf between them — a large divide that neither side is willing or able to cross.

Definitions of gulf

n an arm of a sea or ocean partly enclosed by land; larger than a bay

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Gulf of Aden
arm of the Indian Ocean at the entrance to the Red Sea
Gulf of Alaska
a gulf of the Pacific Ocean between the Alaska Peninsula and the Alexander Archipelago
Gulf of Antalya
a gulf of the Mediterranean Sea in southwestern Turkey
Gulf of Akaba
a northeastern arm of the Red Sea; between the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) and Saudi Arabia
Gulf of Bothnia
a northern arm of the Baltic Sea; between Sweden and Finland
Gulf of California
a gulf to the west of the mainland of Mexico
Golfo de Campeche
a part of the Gulf of Mexico to the west of Yucatan
Gulf of Carpentaria
a wide shallow inlet of the Arafura Sea in northern Australia
Gulf of Corinth
inlet of the Ionian Sea between central Greece and the Peloponnesus
Gulf of Finland
an eastern arm of the Baltic Sea; between Finland and Estonia
Gulf of Guinea
a gulf off the southwest coast of Africa
Gulf of Martaban
an arm of the Andaman Sea off southern Myanmar
Golfo de Mexico
an arm of the Atlantic to the south of the United States and to the east of Mexico
Gulf of Ob
an inlet of the Kara Sea in western Siberia
Gulf of Oman
an arm of the Arabian Sea connecting it with the Persian Gulf
Gulf of Riga
an inlet of the Baltic Sea between Latvia and Estonia
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
an arm of the northwest Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern coast of Canada
Gulf of Sidra
wide inlet of the Mediterranean Sea on the north coast of Libya
Gulf of Suez
a northwestern arm of the Red Sea linked to the Mediterranean by the Suez Canal
Gulf of Tehuantepec
an arm of the Pacific in southern Mexico
Gulf of Thailand
an arm of the South China Sea between Indochina and the Malay Peninsula
Gulf of Venice
an arm of the Adriatic Sea
Arabian Gulf
a shallow arm of the Arabian Sea between Iran and the Arabian peninsula; the Persian Gulf oil fields are among the most productive in the world
Type of:
body of water, water
the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean)

n a deep wide chasm

Type of:
a deep opening in the earth's surface

n an unbridgeable disparity (as from a failure of understanding)

“he felt a gulf between himself and his former friends”
disconnect, disconnection
Type of:
inequality or difference in some respect

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