[ geyp, gap ]
See synonyms for: gapegapedgaping on

verb (used without object),gaped, gap·ing.
  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.

  1. to open as a gap; split or become open wide.

  1. a wide opening; gap; breach.

  2. an act or instance of gaping.

  1. a stare, as in astonishment or with the mouth wide open.

  2. a yawn.

  3. Zoology. the width of the open mouth.

Origin of gape

1175–1225; Middle English, from Old Norse gapa “to open the mouth wide”; compare German gaffen

synonym study For gape

1. See gaze.

Other words for gape

Other words from gape

  • gap·ing·ly, adverb
  • sub·gape, verb (used without object), sub·gaped, sub·gap·ing.
  • un·gap·ing, adjective

Words Nearby gape Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gape in a sentence

  • Once more the wedge was driven to the heart, until again the sides were spread a-gape.

  • Moulder, gape, and Snengkeld together could not make him pay for wine he had neither ordered nor swallowed.

    Orley Farm | Anthony Trollope
  • "In commercial rooms, as the gentleman must be aware, the rule is as stated by my friend on my right," said Mr. gape.

    Orley Farm | Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for gape


/ (ɡeɪp) /

  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

  1. to be or become wide open: the crater gaped under his feet

  1. the act of gaping

  2. a wide opening; breach

  1. the width of the widely opened mouth of a vertebrate

  2. a stare or expression of astonishment

Origin of gape

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