- to gaze fixedly and intently, especially with the eyes wide open.
- to be boldly or obtrusively conspicuous: The bright modern painting stares out at you in the otherwise conservative gallery.
- (of hair, feathers, etc.) to stand on end; bristle.
- to stare at: to stare a person up and down.
- to effect or have a certain effect on by staring: to stare one out of countenance.
- a staring gaze; a fixed look with the eyes wide open: The banker greeted him with a glassy stare.
- stare down, to cause to become uncomfortable by gazing steadily at one; overcome by staring: A nonsmoker at the next table tried to stare me down.
- stare one in the face, to be urgent or impending; confront: The income-tax deadline is staring us in the face.
Origin of stare
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (intr often foll by at) to look or gaze fixedly, often with hostility or rudeness
- (intr) (of an animal's fur, bird's feathers, etc) to stand on end because of fear, ill health, etc
- (intr) to stand out as obvious; glare
- stare one in the face to be glaringly obvious or imminent
- the act or an instance of staring
- dialect a starling
Word Origin and History for stare down
Old English starian "to look fixedly at," from Proto-Germanic *star- "be rigid" (cf. Old Norse stara, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch staren, Old High German staren, German starren "to stare at;" German starren "to stiffen," starr "stiff;" Old Norse storr "proud;" Old High German storren "to stand out, project;" Gothic andstaurran "to be obstinate"), from PIE root *ster- "strong, firm, stiff, rigid" (cf. Lithuanian storas "thick," stregti "to become frozen;" Sanskrit sthirah "hard, firm;" Persian suturg "strong;" Old Church Slavonic staru "old;" cf. sterile and torpor). Not originally implying rudeness. Related: Stared; staring.
"starling," from Old English (see starling).
Idioms and Phrases with stare down
Cause someone to waver or give in by or as if by being stared at. For example, Insisting on a better room, he stared down the manager until he got it. This expression alludes to staring at someone without being the first to blink or lower one's gaze. [Mid-1800s]