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See synonyms for: starestaredstaring on

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.

  1. to be patently or compellingly obvious: The stark, staring fact is, you can't do something with nothing.

  2. (of hair, feathers, etc.) to stick out or stand on end; bristle: Both male and female pheasants are rough-footed and have staring feathers around the head and neck.

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: They all laughed at me and stared me into silence.

  1. a staring gaze; a fixed look with the eyes wide open: The banker greeted him with a glassy stare.

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.

Idioms about stare

  1. stare one in the face,

    • (especially of something undesirable) to be patently or compellingly obvious: Sounds like a far-fetched theory, but when the evidence is staring you in the face, you have to take notice.

    • to be urgent or impending; be about to happen: The income tax deadline is staring us in the face.

  2. stare (something) in the face, to confront or be confronted by (something unpleasant): The company is staring bankruptcy in the face.

  1. staring down the barrel of,

    • having (a firearm) aimed at one, especially at close range: He turned his head and found himself staring down the barrel of a rifle.

    • facing (a threat, challenging situation, or imminent disaster): Motorists are staring down the barrel of a major hike in the price of fuel.

Origin of stare

First recorded before 900; Middle English staren, Old English starian; cognate with Dutch staren, German starren, Old Norse stara; akin to stark, starve

synonym study For stare

1. See gaze.

Other words from stare

  • star·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stare in a sentence

  • As Alice stares around her, when they stop in such momentary alarm, how strange the scene looks!

    Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Marry, let an honest man lack their assistance, and starving stares him in the face, for want of a recommendation.

    The Battle of Hexham; | George Colman
  • He rubs his heart, takes out his match and looks at it, and then stares round the room again.

    First Plays | A. A. Milne
  • One of the ladies advances, lorgnette in hand, and stares boldly at the prisoner.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
  • But the implacable Venus stares through the world with her steady marble eyes.

    Charles Baudelaire, His Life | Thophile Gautier

British Dictionary definitions for stare (1 of 2)


/ (stɛə) /

  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

  1. (intr) to stand out as obvious; glare

  2. stare one in the face to be glaringly obvious or imminent

  1. the act or an instance of staring

Origin of stare

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

Derived forms of stare

  • starer, noun

British Dictionary definitions for stare (2 of 2)


/ (stɛə) /

  1. dialect a starling

Origin of 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