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See more synonyms for stare on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), stared, star·ing.
  1. to gaze fixedly and intently, especially with the eyes wide open.
  2. to be boldly or obtrusively conspicuous: The bright modern painting stares out at you in the otherwise conservative gallery.
  3. (of hair, feathers, etc.) to stand on end; bristle.
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verb (used with object), stared, star·ing.
  1. to stare at: to stare a person up and down.
  2. to effect or have a certain effect on by staring: to stare one out of countenance.
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  1. a staring gaze; a fixed look with the eyes wide open: The banker greeted him with a glassy stare.
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Verb Phrases
  1. 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.
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  1. stare one in the face, to be urgent or impending; confront: The income-tax deadline is staring us in the face.
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Origin of stare

before 900; Middle English staren, Old English starian; cognate with Dutch staren, German starren, Old Norse stara; akin to stark, starve
Related formsstar·er, nounstar·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for stare

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See gaze.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for stare

peer, beam, glare, look, gawk, rubberneck, eye, fix, goggle, focus, gaze, ogle, bore, eyeball, rivet, glim

Examples from the Web for stare

Contemporary Examples of stare

Historical Examples of stare

  • Why does he fling himself from his horse and stare so strangely about him?

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • She turned to stare at the Inspector with eyes that were very clear and very hard.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • I thought he must be crazed by over-study, and I could only sit and stare at him, open-mouthed.

  • Simba continued to stare, and Kingozi had lifted his prism glasses.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Kingozi, nursing the bowl of his pipe, continued to stare up at him.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for stare


  1. (intr often foll by at) to look or gaze fixedly, often with hostility or rudeness
  2. (intr) (of an animal's fur, bird's feathers, etc) to stand on end because of fear, ill health, etc
  3. (intr) to stand out as obvious; glare
  4. stare one in the face to be glaringly obvious or imminent
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  1. the act or an instance of staring
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Derived Formsstarer, noun

Word Origin for stare

Old English starian; related to Old Norse stara, Old High German starēn to stare, Greek stereos stiff, Latin consternāre to confuse


  1. dialect a starling
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Word Origin for stare

Old English stær
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 stare


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.

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"starling," from Old English (see starling).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper