- to stare stupidly; gape: The onlookers gawked at arriving celebrities.
- an awkward, foolish person.
Origin of gawk
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gawking
CNN anchor Carol Costello confessed to “gawking” at the actor.Diogo Morgado Puts the Carnal in Incarnate, But Was Jesus Really A Babe?
March 4, 2014
Observes one staffer, “How humiliating it must be for him to be sitting out there with all those people [gawking and whispering.]”Edwards’s Life in Exile
June 20, 2011
He zipped past the gawking mother and tired travelers and nearly across the elegant cordovan shoe-tips of a tall bearded man.Danger Stalks Lucas Davenport
Daily Beast Promotions
May 11, 2009
Gawking and gaping as though 'twere Christmas and Roman candles going off!The Long Roll
For fifteen years I have been the 'objective' of the gawking squad.David Lannarck, Midget
George S. Harney
He had gone about gawking in places he couldn't have had he been visible.The Common Man
Guy McCord (AKA Dallas McCord Reynolds)
Here, you people, don't stand there gawking like a lot of dotty chumps!Corporal Cameron
"'Tend to your business, there; don't be gawking around," said the Orderly sternly.Si Klegg, Book 6 (of 6)
- a clumsy stupid person; lout
- (intr) to stare in a stupid way; gape
Word Origin and History for gawking
1785, American English, perhaps from gaw, a survival from Middle English gowen "to stare" (c.1200), from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse ga "to heed," from Proto-Germanic *gawon-, from PIE *ghow-e- "to honor, revere, worship" (see favor (n.)); and altered perhaps by gawk hand (see gawky). Liberman writes that it "need not have been derived from gowk. It is possibly another independent imitative formation with the structure g-k. Related: Gawked; gawking.