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2017 Word of the Year

gapes

[geyps, gaps] /geɪps, gæps/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
1.
Veterinary Pathology. a parasitic disease of poultry and other birds, characterized by frequent gaping due to infestation of the trachea and bronchi with gapeworms.
2.
a fit of yawning.
Origin of gapes
See origin at gape, -s3
Related forms
gapy, adjective

gape

[geyp, gap] /geɪp, gæp/
verb (used without object), gaped, gaping.
1.
to stare with open mouth, as in wonder.
2.
to open the mouth wide involuntarily, as the result of hunger, sleepiness, or absorbed attention.
3.
to open as a gap; split or become open wide.
noun
4.
a wide opening; gap; breach.
5.
an act or instance of gaping.
6.
a stare, as in astonishment or with the mouth wide open.
7.
a yawn.
8.
Zoology. the width of the open mouth.
Origin
1175-1225; Middle English < Old Norse gapa to open the mouth wide; compare German gaffen
Related forms
gapingly, adverb
subgape, verb (used without object), subgaped, subgaping.
ungaping, adjective
Synonyms
1. See gaze. 2, 3. yawn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gapes
Historical Examples
  • Run with open eyes into the mouth of that destruction that gapes to devour thee!

    Imogen William Godwin
  • What would you do if they got the gapes, and no one would feed them chopped onions?

    Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • Your scrip, a-swinging by your side, gapes with a gaunt mouth hungry-wide.

  • A clean-cut wound that gapes wide is most desired by all parties.

    Three Men on the Bummel Jerome K. Jerome
  • She's tender-hearted as a lamb, and'll nuss a chicken with the gapes for half a day.

    The Love Story of Abner Stone Edwin Carlile Litsey
  • Everything within them gapes and hungers for the accustomed stimulant.

    Smoking and Drinking James Parton
  • He must not look at his wife when she sneezes or gapes or eats.

    The Chautauquan, Vol. III, January 1883 The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle
  • She went to his chicken yard with him, and prescribed for gapes.

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
  • Dumfounded, the Spanish outpost, under cover of a hedge, gapes after them.

    The Human Slaughter-House Wilhelm Lamszus
  • I have the habit of approaching all things with a feeling of innocence which gapes.

    Two Chancellors

    Julian Klaczko
British Dictionary definitions for gapes

gapes

/ɡeɪps/
noun (functioning as sing)
1.
a disease of young domestic fowl, characterized by gaping or gasping for breath and caused by parasitic worms (gapeworms)
2.
(informal) a fit of yawning
Derived Forms
gapy, adjective

gape

/ɡeɪp/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to stare in wonder or amazement, esp with the mouth open
2.
to open the mouth wide, esp involuntarily, as in yawning or hunger
3.
to be or become wide open: the crater gaped under his feet
noun
4.
the act of gaping
5.
a wide opening; breach
6.
the width of the widely opened mouth of a vertebrate
7.
a stare or expression of astonishment
See also gapes
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse gapa; related to Middle Dutch gapen, Danish gabe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gapes

gape

v.

early 13c., from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old Norse gapa "to open the mouth, gape," common West Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch gapen, German gaffen "to gape, stare," Swedish gapa, Danish gabe), from PIE *ghai- (see gap). Related: Gaped; gaping. As a noun, from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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