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See more synonyms for gaper on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that gapes.
  2. Also called horse clam. a large clam, Tresus capax, common on gravelly and coarse-sand beaches.
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Origin of gaper

First recorded in 1630–40; gape + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gaper

viewer, bystander, onlooker, witness, watcher, observer, fan, theatergoer, eyewitness, spectator, passerby, speculum, reflector, beholder, looker, looker-on, kibitzer, seer, playgoer, clapper

Examples from the Web for gaper

Historical Examples of gaper

  • This clumsy sign is called de Gaaper,—the Gaper,—and I know not the origin of it.

    The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 3 of 3

    George Augustus Sala

British Dictionary definitions for gaper


  1. a person or thing that gapes
  2. any of various large marine bivalve molluscs of the genera Mya and Lutraria that burrow in muddy sand. M. arenaria is the American soft-shelled clam and the two species of Lutraria are the otter shells. The valves have a permanent gap at the hind end
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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

Word Origin and History for gaper


1630s, agent noun from gape (v.). Gaper delay in traffic control parlance attested by 1995.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper