This is the whole sentence from the article:

"R went to the bar, where he and other friends threw back drinks, the photos show."

  • Which article? Can you provide the source, please? Why the need for anonymity "R"? Is that the original sentence? "Throw back" is not really one word, it is an idiom. – Mari-Lou A Aug 10 '15 at 7:32
  • Related: What does “throw back” mean? – Mari-Lou A Aug 10 '15 at 18:27

I would say no. A gulp on its own implies a single large swallow, whereas "throw back" implies several swallows in a row (possibly even finishing the drink). I would say "gulp down" "chug" or "chug down" are interchangeable with "throw back".

  • Not according to M-W – bib Aug 10 '15 at 14:40
  • MW defines throw back as "drink quickly" or "in one swallow". When you drink something quickly, you usually have to swallow many times (especially if its a full beer). If its a smaller drink, like a shot of whiskey, then you can " throw it back" in one swallow. – J. Paczuski Aug 10 '15 at 17:18
  • When you here he threw back his drink I imaging the cowpoke at the bar slammin' a full shot of redeye in one motion. – bib Aug 10 '15 at 17:58

I've found a definition for throw back which says

To drink something quickly, usually swallowing it all at once.

- MacMillan Dictionary

Are the two words 100% interchangeable? No. But there's definitely some overlap in their definitions (mostly the drinking quickly). One situation where they differ is that gulping is used to convey both eating/drinking quickly and the audible sounds associated with it:

swallow (drink or food) quickly or in large mouthfuls, often audibly.

- Google

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