- 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
- (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 in the face
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 in the face
stare in the face
Also, look in the face. Be glaringly obvious, although initially overlooked, as in The solution to the problem had been staring me in the face all along, or I wouldn't know a Tibetan terrier if it looked me in the face. [Late 1600s]