from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To draw in the breath sharply, as from shock.
- intransitive v. To breathe convulsively or laboriously.
- transitive v. To utter in a breathless manner.
- n. A short convulsive intake or catching of the breath.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A short, sudden intake of breath.
- n. (slang): A draw or drag on a cigarette (or gasper).
- v. : To draw in the breath suddenly, as if from a shock.
- v. : To breathe laboriously or convulsively.
- v. : To speak in a breathless manner
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To open the mouth wide in catching the breath, or in laborious respiration; to labor for breath; to respire convulsively; to pant violently.
- intransitive v. To pant with eagerness; to show vehement desire.
- transitive v. To emit or utter with gasps; -- with forth, out, away, etc.
- n. The act of opening the mouth convulsively to catch the breath; a labored respiration; a painful catching of the breath.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To labor for breath with open mouth; respire convulsively; pant with great effort.
- To desire with eagerness; crave vehemently.
- To emit or utter gaspingly: with away, forth, out, etc.
- n. The act of catching the breath with open mouth; labored respiration; a short, convulsive catching of the breath.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a short labored intake of breath with the mouth open
- v. breathe noisily, as when one is exhausted
Middle English gaspen, gaispen, to gape, yawn, from Old Norse geispa, to yawn.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from Old Norse geispa or Danish gispe. (Wiktionary)