gape

verb
\ ˈgāp How to pronounce gape (audio) , sometimes ˈgap How to pronounce gape (audio) \
gaped; gaping

Definition of gape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to open the mouth wide
b : to open or part widely holes gaped in the pavement
2 : to gaze stupidly or in openmouthed surprise or wonder gaped at the squabbling monkeys
3 : yawn The dull lecture made the students gape.

gape

noun

Definition of gape (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of opening the mouth wide:
a : yawn
b : an openmouthed stare
2 : an unfilled space or extent
3a : the median margin-to-margin length of the open mouth
b : the line along which the mandibles (see mandible sense 1c) of a bird close
c : the width of an opening
4 gapes plural in form but singular in construction
a : a disease of birds and especially young birds in which gapeworms invade and irritate the trachea (see trachea sense 1)
b : a fit of yawning

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Other Words from gape

Verb

gapingly \ ˈgā-​piŋ-​lē How to pronounce gapingly (audio) , ˈga-​piŋ-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for gape

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of gape in a Sentence

Verb she suddenly realized she had been gaping at the good-looking waiter instead of giving him her order Noun I told him to stop staring, that his rather stupid gape was annoying.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When a young food runner fumbled over the ingredients in pastry chef Anne Blanchard’s refreshing dessert (crisp pink grapefruit sorbet, buttery strawberry sablé, lime cream), the senior server standing behind him didn’t swoop in or gape in horror. Adam Erace, Fortune, "Charleston Restaurant is the most relaxed formal dining experience in Baltimore," 8 Mar. 2020 The Grand Canyon this is not — but the cracks were sizable enough to make visitors gape. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio, latimes.com, "Seismic selfies: Massive earthquake surface rupture becomes tourist attraction," 9 July 2019 And as women with full chests know, finding a button-down that doesn't gape at the buttons is nearly impossible, so Chan added hidden buttons to make sure the shirt doesn't pull open at the bust. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "This New Brand Is One of Fashion Week’s Most Important Launches," 13 Sep. 2019 Most revelers stay up all night or rise early enough to gape from balconies or barricades as hundreds of runners dressed in the traditional white outfit with a red sash make their mad dash. Fox News, "Running of the bulls ends in Spain with 3 men gored in final run," 14 July 2019 Dry river mouths gape among dunes the height of cathedrals. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 But even 21st century sophisticates will gape at Houdini’s escapes, some of which were extraordinarily dangerous. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Behind the magic of Harry Houdini at the Jewish Museum of Maryland," 29 June 2018 Which is why any trip to Iceland should include a stop here, to gape at the bobbing icebergs floating in the water. Susan Glaser, cleveland.com, "Iceland Travel Blog: Bobbing among icebergs on Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon (photos, video)," 11 May 2018 People walked out but no one noticed because so many more people wanted to gape at the big Cheeto man forming words. Anne Branigin, The Root, "What You Need to Know About Trump’s Speech to the World’s Richest White Men," 26 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fortunately, regions, like Willamette Valley, are naturally suited to high acidity in their gapes. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, "Meet the new American Chardonnay," 11 Apr. 2020 The fish’s wide-eyed gape takes center stage, mesh tugging at its open mouth. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Dazzling Display of Seals Wins Underwater Photographer of the Year Award," 25 Feb. 2020 These days, the gap gapes, and family harmony usually calls for some forbearance on both sides. New York Times, "Should I Tell My Aunt That Her Costume Is Racist?," 21 Jan. 2020 Its fins flare, its mouth gapes and its body spasms as the metal filament proceeds along the length of its spine, destroying nerves. The Economist, "Ikejime: a humane way to kill fish that makes them tastier," 4 Oct. 2019 Its fins flare, its mouth gapes and its body spasms as the metal filament proceeds along the length of its spine, destroying nerves. The Economist, "Ikejime: a humane way to kill fish that makes them tastier," 4 Oct. 2019 Its fins flare, its mouth gapes and its body spasms as the metal filament proceeds along the length of its spine, destroying nerves. The Economist, "Ikejime: a humane way to kill fish that makes them tastier," 4 Oct. 2019 Its fins flare, its mouth gapes and its body spasms as the metal filament proceeds along the length of its spine, destroying nerves. The Economist, "Ikejime: a humane way to kill fish that makes them tastier," 4 Oct. 2019 Its fins flare, its mouth gapes and its body spasms as the metal filament proceeds along the length of its spine, destroying nerves. The Economist, "Ikejime: a humane way to kill fish that makes them tastier," 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gape

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gape

Verb

Middle English gapen, borrowed from Old Norse gapa, going back to Germanic *gapōn- (whence Middle Dutch gapen "to gaze stupidly," Middle High German gaffen), perhaps of phonesthemic origin

Noun

derivative of gape entry 1

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Time Traveler for gape

Time Traveler

The first known use of gape was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Gape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gape. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for gape

gape

verb
How to pronounce gape (audio) How to pronounce gape (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gape

: to open widely
: to look at someone or something with your mouth open in surprise or wonder

gape

verb
\ ˈgāp How to pronounce gape (audio) \
gaped; gaping

Kids Definition of gape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to stare with the mouth open in surprise or wonder … he stood and gaped at her in astonishment …— Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking
2 : to open or part widely a gaping wound

gape

noun

Kids Definition of gape (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of opening or staring with the mouth open He ignored everyone's stunned gapes.

More from Merriam-Webster on gape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gape

Nglish: Translation of gape for Spanish Speakers

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