What do you call gasps while crying

Hi I was wondering what it is called when people have a kind of gasp while crying… I had that for some of the “Risen” movie and also had tears streaming down my face.

It is a bit like choking. Is it called “choking up”?


Spasmodic contractions of breath.

Or you could go with the adjective herky-jerky depending on whether you want to add a dollop of humor to whatever sobbing situation you are thinking of describing.

Ellecram, wins the internet today.

How much was your ticket? I can understand being upset about wasting some cash, but come on . . .

ETA: maybe “hitched” breathing?


If the OP is not describing “sobbing” … what do most people thing “sobbing” means?

I thought “gasping while crying” was textbook “sobbing”?

EDIT: adding link to dictionary definition of “sob”.

Gulping air?

Make that two for “hitch.”

To me “sobbing” is the sound of the crying with the exhale, e.g., “boo hoo hoo!”, not the gasping for air.

I call it a gasp. Why invent another word? :slight_smile:


It says:
“to cry noisily while taking in short, sudden breaths”

I wasn’t crying noisily but I did have short sudden breaths.

I got a special deal from RACQ for AUS$10. Normally it would be $17 for an adult. It was a Sony movie and I associate them with quality.

Sometimes long after a child has been crying and they’ve settled down, they’ll do the ragged intake of breath with no other associated noises. IMO this is not sobbing, the inhalation is something else. Crying WITH the gasping is sobbing, sure, but the gasping itself is not sobbing.

I know exactly what you’re talking about, and choking up is probably the best name I’ve heard for it. You’re sobbing but not audibly.

I guess that means you could say “sobbing silently.”

Then why the tears?

I was moved by things like Yeshua (Jesus) and other parts of it.

But I thought he lived.

(Spoilered for those who haven’t seen the movie)