\ 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

Synonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun People take deep breaths to inhale fresh air, gawk at the wildlife and rock climb. NBC News, "'Saddened but not surprised': Boulder residents say shooting is a reminder of a new reality," 24 Mar. 2021 This is pretty typical of my Chicago unrealistic gawk-searching. Rebecca Makkai, Curbed, "The Real-Estate Listings Author Rebecca Makkai Likes to Stare At," 25 Feb. 2021 The reader doesn’t gawk at her tragedy and resilience. Karen Valby, New York Times, "In Hollywood, Stories About People of Color Are Still Rare. These Y.A. Fantasy Novels Pick Up the Slack.," 4 Feb. 2020 Even in the drowsy predawn morning, onlookers stopped to gawk. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Sun Rises on Wegmans in Brooklyn," 28 Oct. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When Penance has a private conversation with Lavinia’s spineless younger brother Augie, people gawk for all the wrong reasons. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, "The Nevers Recap: Freak Shows," 18 Apr. 2021 Children on the roadsides gawk as six-wheeled military trucks roll by, kicking up clouds of dust. New York Times, "In Russia, a Military Buildup That Can’t be Missed," 16 Apr. 2021 Passersby like to gawk at the two workers atop the 45-foot-wide swing stage, which includes a motor on each side and is attached by cables to the top of the hotel. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "These guys always rise to the occasion for the NCAA tournament," 20 Mar. 2021 Millennials who’ve grown obsessed with plants over the past few years can now gawk at greenery over drinks at Propagation, a new garden-theme bar in San Francisco. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco's newest cocktail bar features plants, plants and more plants," 17 Mar. 2021 This neighborhood is also a great place to gawk at gorgeous townhouses and spot celebs. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "New York City Travel Guide," 1 Mar. 2021 Greene reported rumors of a woman breaking down in her room and smashing objects against the wall; other women came to gawk, but not to help. Maggie Doherty, The New Republic, "How the Barbizon Hotel Defined Women’s Ambition," 23 Feb. 2021 The Arlo NoMad rooftop is a great place to gawk at the Empire State Building, cocktail in hand. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "New York City Travel Guide," 1 Mar. 2021 Almost 24 years later, Maddox was Tuscaloosa’s mayor when a City Hall meeting about prekindergarten paused so people could crowd a balcony to gawk at the convoy that heralded the arrival of Alabama’s new coach, Nick Saban. New York Times, "After 14 Seasons in a Stadium With Bryant’s Name, Saban Proves His Equal," 12 Jan. 2021

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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Statistics for gawk

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gawk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gawk

Nglish: Translation of gawk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gawk for Arabic Speakers

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