\ 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 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 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Joggers, dogwalkers, workers on lunch breaks and curious tourists took selfies and gawked at the midday commotion. Jessica Villagomez,, "Trump’s visit draws protests along river, but for the most part, life rolls on," 28 Oct. 2019 Why such a silly error, security researchers wondered, gawking in disbelief around the world? Wired, "Wouldn’t It Be Great If People Could Vote on the Blockchain?," 3 Sep. 2019 No one appreciated his skills, Antonio lamented—not his family, not the Catholic Church, and certainly not gawking tourists like Antaki who ducked inside to take a photo and then disappeared without making a purchase. Michael Hardy, WIRED, "Shopkeepers Around the World, Photographed With Their Wares," 24 June 2019 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

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

12 Nov 2019

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gawk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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a calculated move

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