Definition of gawp in English:



[NO OBJECT]British
  • Stare openly in a stupid or rude manner.

    ‘what are you gawping at?’
    • ‘When I sit down, I am surrounded by dozens of people, staring and gawping.’
    • ‘We ship him over to Norway and watch as they decorate him with lights and gawp at him for a month or so, then in early January they can chuck him on a fire.’
    • ‘I found myself glued to the spot, gawping at a specially commissioned video installation.’
    • ‘Tentatively, I ventured out, then realised that half the neighbourhood was standing around gawping.’
    • ‘It is more than possible to breast-feed discreetly anyway, so anyone who finds it such an unpleasant sight should simply stop gawping.’
    • ‘Outside the sun was shining and so I wandered off to Bath Place to gawp at the quaint little shops and to watch people.’
    • ‘With the arrival of summer I have seen the increasing numbers of people using the Lancaster cycleway, gawping at the Millenium Bridge and strolling along the beautiful quayside.’
    • ‘They'd swim around their tank all day, occasionally gawping open-mouthed through the glass before going off on another circuit of nothingness.’
    • ‘In the park below, walkers gazed up at us and gawped.’
    • ‘He would sit in the centre of the grass, gaping and gawping, while the parent birds rushed back and forth to find nourishing grubs and suitable insects to stuff down his throat.’
    • ‘We have so many tourist attractions that we had to put some underground to keep them secret, but still they flock to gawp at Gaping Gill.’
    • ‘The reader gawps, in turns amused and appalled, at an enthralling variety bill of Victorians and Social Gospellers.’
    • ‘There were lots of people in the shops and bars gawping at what was going on.’
    • ‘While you chomp sardines and gawp at a view that is surely more impressive than your living room, the kids are right in front of you, feet away on the sand.’
    • ‘We all watch the same TV shows, gawp at the same handful of celebrities, hanker after the same soft furnishings and hardwood floors.’
    • ‘The house was knocked down years ago, but ghoulish coach tours still pull up in the street to gawp at the spot.’
    • ‘But to my surprise, the futuristic seats don't actually spin round; we end up hunched awkwardly over the flashing armrests, gawping around and discussing the curious venue.’
    • ‘Those who weren't gawping at me were staring at the floor.’
    • ‘I remember many years ago, sitting with my mother and brother, in front of a roaring coal fire, gawping at a black and white tube, mesmerised by the likes of Cagney, Bogart, & Hepburn.’
    • ‘Don't get your hopes up because you don't get to see much from your free low-level passage, just a few ruminants, some birds and a lot of homo sapiens wandering around gawping at animals you can't see.’
    glance, gaze, stare, gape, peer, fix one's gaze, focus
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: perhaps an alteration of gape.