Definition of gawk in English:



[no object]
  • Stare openly and stupidly.

    ‘they were gawking at some pin-up’
    • ‘The door opened and a sailor stepped inside, openly gawking at our still wet clothes.’
    • ‘She heard the stampede leave as Stephen gawked at his new car.’
    • ‘Most of them were trying to be clandestine about it, but a few were openly pointing and gawking.’
    • ‘Carl gawked at the car with unbelieving eyes, and the unknown man still yelling at him must have noticed.’
    • ‘The other alien faces gawked and stared, but their whispers were too far away for me to do anything about, so I ignored it.’
    • ‘Stores and boutiques stock all manner of goods and people are buying rather than gawking.’
    • ‘Only now, gawking at snow-coated cars, did it finally sink in that I was in Scotland.’
    • ‘When we finally dragged the hulking thing home, all we could do was saw it in half and just stand in awe, gawking at the horror within.’
    • ‘Already, he could see the stares and could almost hear the whispers as his classmates openly gawked at him.’
    • ‘It was a bright, sunny day but very cold, too cold to hang about gawking at the scenery between shops.’
    • ‘As the minutes ticked by, the number of students standing on the banks gawking at the spectacle increased steadily.’
    • ‘The boy slowly raised his head to meet my gaze, and gawked back at me.’
    • ‘She looked as gorgeous as ever and certainly had every young lad in town gawking with dropped jaws.’
    • ‘All of the guys stared and gawked at the new girl's body figure and style.’
    • ‘People gawked and stared, and he stared back with a grin beaming from ear to ear.’
    • ‘The last thing any child would need to fear would be rows of people gawking down from the church gallery.’
    • ‘I gawked at the snow on the mountains and squealed over those funny hairy cows as my camera clicked madly, trying to capture the colours and scale of it all.’
    • ‘How long did it take them to go from gawking ignorantly at the machine to surfing the Web and finding sites they liked?’
    • ‘I gaped (or gawked or gushed, whatever way you wish to call it) when Eric appeared again.’
    • ‘She gawked unabashedly at the passing scenery, then stared wide-eyed as the car came to a halt in the shadow of the huge home.’
    gape, goggle, gaze, ogle, stare, stare stupidly, stare open-mouthed, stare in wonder, look fixedly, look vacantly
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  • An awkward or shy person.

    ‘let those country gawks dance to their hearts' content’
    • ‘It's nice to think there was a time when I was small and cute and didn't list disturbingly between being a lanky gawk and an oafish lump.’


Late 17th century (as a noun): perhaps related to obsolete gaw ‘to gaze’, from Old Norse gá ‘heed’.