\ ˈgȯk How to pronounce gawk (audio) \

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

Though his new offices are nothing to gawk at, their potential price tag is more interesting. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Supervisor budgets $240,000 for office furniture, remodeling," 21 June 2019 Not every reporter is there to gawk, and the press hardly invented the idea that reaching 29,029 feet above sea level is one of the ultimate human achievements. Michael Kodas, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Mount Everest is packed. Whose fault is that?," 7 June 2019 As residents gawked and children played nearby, multiple firefighters jumped to action. Dugan Arnett,, "A small turtle sculpture sparks big controversy on Beacon Hill," 13 June 2019 In lieu of Hamm, attendees had plenty to gawk at Thursday night. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Michelle Visage on the "Magical" Future of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'," 7 June 2019 Somehow the regulars don’t seem to mind all the irregulars who come to gawk. Joshua Levine, WSJ, "Saks Doubles Down on Department Stores With New Restaurant in New York City," 15 Jan. 2019 Nonetheless, until the tournament ends, many foreign soccer fans will be gawking and smiling during every food order and request for directions. Samuel Putnam, Washington Post, "Russians don’t smile much, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like you," 30 June 2018 The Oscar-winning actor arrived at the world premiere of her latest film, Jordan Peele's Us, and the Austin's SXSW festival more or less stopped in its tracks to gawk at her gorgeous edginess. Marci Robin, Allure, "Lupita Nyong’o Wore the Most Futuristic Hair and Makeup to the Us Premiere at SXSW," 9 Mar. 2019 Enjoy gawking at the gallery above and dreaming of winning this very unit in a few months! Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Unboxing Sony’s “500 Million Limited Edition PS4 Pro”," 21 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for gawk

The first known use of gawk was in 1757

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More Definitions for gawk



English Language Learners Definition of gawk

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


\ ˈgȯk How to pronounce gawk (audio) \
gawked; gawking

Kids Definition of gawk

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gawk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gawk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gawk

Spanish Central: Translation of gawk

Nglish: Translation of gawk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gawk for Arabic Speakers

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 form ideas or theories about something

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