• synonyms


or gaup

verb (used without object) Chiefly Northern U.S.
  1. to stare with the mouth open in wonder or astonishment; gape: Crowds stood gawping at the disabled ship.
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Origin of gawp

1720–30; British dial., continuing obsolete galp, Middle English galpen, perhaps blend of Middle Dutch galpen to yawn and Middle English gapen to gape
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gawp

Historical Examples

  • Walkin' over to Skeet I taps him on the shoulder, and then it's his turn to gawp at my costume.

    Torchy, Private Sec.

    Sewell Ford

  • All I'm sure of is that we both sort of slowed up and did the gawp act.

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

  • I tried not to gawp at what must have been a couple million bucks' worth of condo.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • He shoves his chair back into the corner and continues186 to gawp; so I just has to let on that he ain't there at all.

British Dictionary definitions for gawp



  1. (intr often foll by at) British slang to stare stupidly; gape
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Derived Formsgawper, noun

Word Origin

C14 galpen; probably related to Old English gielpan to boast, yelp . Compare Dutch galpen to yelp
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 gawp


"fool, simpleton," 1825, perhaps from the verb meaning "to yawn, gape" (as in astonishment), which is attested from 1680s, a dialectal survival of galp (c.1300), which is related to yelp or gape.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper