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gawk

[gawk] /gɔk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to stare stupidly; gape:
The onlookers gawked at arriving celebrities.
noun
2.
an awkward, foolish person.
Origin of gawk
1775-1785
1775-85; apparently representing OE word meaning fool, equivalent to ga(gol) foolish + -oc -ock; used attributively in gawk hand, gallock hand left hand
Synonyms
1. peer, ogle, gaze, goggle, rubberneck.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for gawking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I need to feel that way, acting foolish, gawking around here like some fool kid.

    The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum
  • He had gone about gawking in places he couldn't have had he been visible.

    The Common Man Guy McCord (AKA Dallas McCord Reynolds)
  • After closing the door behind him, he stepped to the piazza, and stopped on the edge of it, gawking around like a country lout.

    Edith and John Franklin S. Farquhar
  • gawking and gaping as though 'twere Christmas and Roman candles going off!

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • For fifteen years I have been the 'objective' of the gawking squad.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • Here, you people, don't stand there gawking like a lot of dotty chumps!

    Corporal Cameron Ralph Connor
  • "'Tend to your business, there; don't be gawking around," said the Orderly sternly.

British Dictionary definitions for gawking

gawk

/ɡɔːk/
noun
1.
a clumsy stupid person; lout
verb
2.
(intransitive) to stare in a stupid way; gape
Word Origin
C18: from Old Danish gaukr; probably related to gape
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 gawking

gawk

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gawking

gawk

verb

To stare; gape stupidly: locals gathered to gawk at strange lights/ They went in and out of the garage to gawk at the body

[1785+; fr dialect gawk, gouk, ''fool, idiot,'' literally ''cuckoo'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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