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: a clumsy stupid person : lout


2 of 2


gawked; gawking; gawks

intransitive verb

: to gape or stare stupidly
gawked at the fish in the aquarium
gawker noun

Examples of gawk in a Sentence

Noun thought that the linebackers were dumb gawks until he got to know them better Verb a crowd of gawking tourists couldn't help gawking at the exotically dressed guests in the hotel lobby
Recent Examples on the Web
The Esprit's shape, arguably more avant-garde despite its age, consistently pegs the gawk meter. John Phillips, Car and Driver, 18 June 2020 The badaud, by contrast, is always liable to form a group or crowd, either for a mass gawk or some communal response. Julian Barnes, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2022 People in the tavern gawk as Jamie interrogates his aunt, accusing her of purchasing a shop for Fergus to print propaganda. Lincee Ray,, 4 Apr. 2022 With its cool look and flashy two-tone color schemes, folks will take gawk at the RAV4 Prime at the stoplight. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 30 Oct. 2021 People take deep breaths to inhale fresh air, gawk at the wildlife and rock climb. NBC News, 24 Mar. 2021 This is pretty typical of my Chicago unrealistic gawk-searching. Rebecca Makkai, Curbed, 25 Feb. 2021 The reader doesn’t gawk at her tragedy and resilience. Karen Valby, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2020 Even in the drowsy predawn morning, onlookers stopped to gawk. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 28 Oct. 2019
When the couple began pulling this trailer with their Dodge, the setup continued to draw considerable attention on the road—and Byam, ever the entrepreneur, saw an opportunity amid all that gawking. Steven Melendez, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 May 2024 Passers-by stopped to gawk, in a crowd that soon grew four deep outside the barricades. Melena Ryzik, New York Times, 7 May 2024 Others, first-timers, gawked visibly at the chandeliers the size of jet turbines, the gilded molding and the grape-dangling cherubs, all that marble and mirror. Charles Homans Robert Petkoff Anna Diamond Ted Blaisdell, New York Times, 27 Apr. 2024 One of the top tourist attractions in the U.S., this natural wonder draws visitors from all over the world every year to gawk at the views created by roughly 278 miles of river. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2024 Unlike the ominous dark attraction, the house features plenty of spaces to gawk at the surrounding nature, like a heavily windowed sunroom looking onto the property. Carly Caramanna, Travel + Leisure, 29 Mar. 2024 Perhaps humans are just wired this way—to gawk and gossip. Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 22 Mar. 2024 But not everyone believes the upcoming eclipse is something that should be gawked at. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 19 Mar. 2024 More than a dozen onlookers gawked from the beach and others watched from the pier as the bizarre situation continued to unfold. Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gawk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



probably from English dialect gawk left-handed


perhaps alteration of obsolete gaw to stare

First Known Use


1757, in the meaning defined above


1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gawk was in 1757

Dictionary Entries Near gawk

Cite this Entry

“Gawk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to stare stupidly


probably an altered form of obsolete gaw "to stare"

More from Merriam-Webster on gawk

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