\ 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

News broadcasts from the fire showed residents gawking at the fire and filming it with their cellphones. Andy Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Having fully contained the Eagle Rock fire, firefighters now focus on cleanup," 27 Aug. 2019 In my suburban childhood mind, Beacon Hill was a place for history field trips and gawking at townhouses. Kara Baskin,, "How to eat like a local on Beacon Hill," 13 Aug. 2019 Thousands of Mexicans visited Los Pinos over the past week to gawk at what many assumed to be narco treasures. Washington Post, "Mexico auctions seized jewelry to fund road building," 29 July 2019 Even in an overstimulated metropolis where residents are known for their indifference to spectacle, hordes of people will pack the streets along the East River, poke their heads out windows or climb to rooftops to gawk on Thursday. Jake Michaels, New York Times, "The Crazy Planning for the Macy’s Fireworks Show Begins in the California Desert," 2 July 2019 Make sure to gawk at the site’s landmark Moreton Bay fig tree, which was at least partial inspiration for the Swiss Family Treehouse (of yore) and Tarzan’s Treehouse (of now) at Disneyland. Jim Webster, Twin Cities, "In Orlando or Anaheim for a Disney vacation? Explore the cities beyond the gates, too," 29 June 2019 Children gawk, women scream, and men reach for their guns. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Téa Obreht’s ‘Inland’ is a magical Western you’ll want to savor with a tall glass of water," 12 Aug. 2019 Feel your heart pound while gawking at Luxor, photographing orangutans in Borneo, and searching for polar bears in Svalbard. Janice Wald Henderson, Condé Nast Traveler, "Around-the-World Cruises Are Much Less Complicated Than You Think," 7 Aug. 2019 An integral part of Korean culture, these bathhouses are where people come to relax and enjoy a variety of beauty and health rituals, and where nudity is not shunned nor gawked over. Kristin Braswell, USA TODAY, "A K-beauty lover makes a pilgrimage to Seoul, the capital of skincare and K-Pop," 23 July 2019

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

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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