\ 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, 24 Mar. 2021 This is pretty typical of my Chicago unrealistic gawk-searching. Rebecca Makkai, Curbed, 25 Feb. 2021 The reader doesn’t gawk at her tragedy and resilience. Karen Valby, New York Times, 4 Feb. 2020 Even in the drowsy predawn morning, onlookers stopped to gawk. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 28 Oct. 2019 By Saturday afternoon, reporters and photographers loitered outside the restaurant, as did people who had wandered over to gawk. Sarah Murray,, 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,, 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, 18 Dec. 2017 But almost everyone can walk — and gawk — at the homes along its shores. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Remember the coach who couldn’t help but gawk an Eason during his pregame routine last season? Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2021 In the Rotunda, there is no one – no politicians or staffers racing back and forth towing journalists, no tourists milling in the gallery to gawk. Michael S. Hopkins, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 May 2021 Many of them wind up as props in a story that may seem nobly intended, while nonetheless servicing baser impulses to gawk. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 19 May 2021 For one soiree, Mr. Chanler sent two kangaroos, which were placed in the empty pool for partygoers to gawk at. New York Times, 21 May 2021 As a result, people didn’t know what to do with Truth or Dare other than gawk — and boy did they. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 6 May 2021 When Penance has a private conversation with Lavinia’s spineless younger brother Augie, people gawk for all the wrong reasons. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 18 Apr. 2021 Children on the roadsides gawk as six-wheeled military trucks roll by, kicking up clouds of dust. New York Times, 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, 20 Mar. 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

Cite this Entry

“Gawk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 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.

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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