\ˈgȯk \

Definition of gawk 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a clumsy stupid person : lout


gawked; gawking; gawks

Definition of gawk (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from gawk


gawker noun

Synonyms for gawk

Synonyms: Noun

clod, clodhopper, hulk, lout, lubber, lug, lump, Neanderthal, oaf, palooka

Synonyms: Verb

blink, gape, gawp [chiefly British], gaze, goggle, peer, rubberneck, stare

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Examples of gawk in a Sentence


thought that the linebackers were dumb gawks until he got to know them better


a crowd of gawking tourists couldn't help gawking at the exotically dressed guests in the hotel lobby
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By Saturday afternoon, reporters and photographers loitered outside the restaurant, as did people who had wandered over to gawk. Sarah Murray,, "Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave — and would do it again," 24 June 2018 Auto tourists could temporarily stop, gawk and shop at a towering dinosaur, giant sombrero or the world’s largest cheese wheel. Vincent Crampton,, "Explore Florida's Hernando County: This roadside attraction is alive and kicking," 6 May 2018 McM sold its beets to sugar companies that supplied candy makers Hershey Co. and Mars Inc. During harvest, locals pulled over to gawk at the farm’s machines clawing beets from the soil, at work around the clock. Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Two Brothers, Tied to the Land, Face Wrath of America’s Farm Bust," 18 Dec. 2017 But almost everyone can walk — and gawk — at the homes along its shores. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lake Geneva's opulent lakefront estates are a walk or boat ride away," 7 Sep. 2017 The park offers few amenities: no restaurants, no shade and nothing much to do except gawk at deserted arenas. Renata Brito, The Seattle Times, "Rio’s Olympics 1 year later: The good, the bad and the ugly," 28 July 2017 The park offers few amenities: no restaurants, no shade and nothing much to do except gawk at deserted arenas. Washington Post, "Rio’s Olympics 1 year later: The good, the bad and the ugly," 28 July 2017 Gawk at 30 million dollars up close, redesign the nation’s currency, check out historical currency and more. The Know Staff, The Know, "A chalk art festival, mini golf downtown and other free and cheap things around Denver, June 2-8," 1 June 2017 Every time Mr. DiMola opens his garage doors, passers-by gawk at the explosion of artifacts in his shop. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "In Queens, a Man Culls Relics From the Junk," 13 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Take the Rojo line up, then the Azul across, just to gawk at the market’s vastness. New York Times, "Place 9 of 52: The Paradox of the Women of La Paz," 17 Apr. 2018 While the lore around Area 51 may be nothing more than imaginative fiction, that won't stop people from gawking just beyond those chain link fences. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The Real Story Behind the Myth of Area 51," 14 Sep. 2017 In another dwells one of Quebec’s rare black families, too poor to afford curtains, but hanging their laundry in the first-floor windows so that passersby don’t gawk at their skin color. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "In the memory palace of Robert Lepage’s ‘887,’ there are many mansions," 5 May 2018 For Liu Xia, who spent the last year in the claustrophobic confines of her Beijing flat, gawked at and guarded, exile is a welcome outcome. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, "Poet Liu Xia escaped China, but will Beijing ever set her free?," 13 July 2018 But who has time to livestream, anyways, when there are new photos of Sir and Rumi Carter to gawk at? Kathryn Lindsay,, "Wait, Who Are These Babies That Appeared In Beyoncé & Jay-Z's Tour?," 6 June 2018 Sure, Say Yes to the Dress features lots of gorgeous wedding gowns to gawk at. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "The New Season of Say Yes to the Dress Looks Even Crazier Than Usual," 18 Dec. 2017 The Eagles gawked as Cleveland Browns tight end and former Hurricanes standout David Njoku, also a guest at Saturday’s practice, pulled on some gloves and jumped into drills. Christy Cabrera Chirinos,, "'This is their safe zone,' Douglas football coach says as Eagles visit UM spring practice," 31 Mar. 2018 Tour buses pull up at a visitors’ plaza here, disgorging passengers who gawk at the view while buying souvenirs and snacks. Jane Margolies, New York Times, "Once Home to Soldiers, Former Presidio Fort Will House New Residents," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gawk.' 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 gawk


1757, in the meaning defined above


1785, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gawk


probably from English dialect gawk left-handed


perhaps alteration of obsolete gaw to stare

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The first known use of gawk was in 1757

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English Language Learners Definition of gawk

: to stare at someone or something in a rude or stupid way


\ˈgȯk \
gawked; gawking

Kids Definition of gawk

: to stare stupidly She stood there gawking at the celebrities.

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Comments on gawk

What made you want to look up gawk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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