1 of 2


stared; staring

intransitive verb

: to look fixedly often with wide-open eyes
: to show oneself conspicuously
the error stared from the page
of hair : to stand on end : bristle
also : to appear rough and lusterless

transitive verb

: to have an effect on by staring
: to look at with a searching or earnest gaze
starer noun


2 of 2


: the act or an instance of staring
a blank stare
stare one in the face
: to be undeniably and forcefully evident or apparent

Examples of stare in a Sentence

Verb She stared out the window. His mother told him not to stare. Noun They looked at me with accusing stares. caught the child's wide-eyed stare on film
Recent Examples on the Web
The photo, in which Britney appears to be mid-conversation while Jamie Lynn stares off into the distance, was snapped while the sisters were waiting backstage to meet the cast of Hairspray at the Neil Simon Theater, per Getty Images. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024 At first, people stopped their cars and stared at the bears in a field next to the roadway. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 Gyllenhaal will step into the role of UFC fighter turned rough-and-rowdy bouncer James Dalton, with his poster revealing a super buff Jake — with a full left arm sleeve of ink — staring into the camera, his face also showing signs of combat. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 14 Feb. 2024 Bella stares at him for 17 seconds, trying to absorb the request. Randee Dawn, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 For those staring at the long road ahead, Andrej’s poem offers its own testimony to the power of love and memory to survive, even after Marina had left him: My dear Marina! Sam Roberts, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Mollie just stares at him in response, one of those amused glances that convey both attention and awareness. Hazlitt, 7 Feb. 2024 The anchor, who was staring at the vice president, pretended not to notice. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 5 Feb. 2024 Fellow honoree Gladys Knight stared up from the front row, smiling. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2024
Their children’s meltdowns, tantrums times three, come unannounced and garner stares. Linda Friedel, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 There’s a physicality to Johan’s performance that communicates Dakota’s fluctuating moods in the form of uninhibited dance sessions or scorching stares and only rarely as outbursts of emotion. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 30 Jan. 2024 The uncomfortable stares eventually led to racial slurs and a bitter two-year dispute. Tim Craig, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024 His eyes are fixed in an icy stare, his lips curl toward a snarl. Emily Birnbaum, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 Tall and lanky, Crombie’s character had a flat, borderline menacing affect and an unblinking 1,000-yard stare. Aimee Ortiz, New York Times, 14 Jan. 2024 Hamilton, by far the sport’s biggest star, sprints to his garage, an intense stare fixed on his face. David Hill, Rolling Stone, 14 Jan. 2024 Although, Luther Ford's Harry watches the family goings-on with an unnervingly penetrating stare that doesn't seem right. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 14 Dec. 2023 Anastasiia barely spoke, her eyes locked in a distant stare, while Kseniia described their time there. Carlotta Gall, New York Times, 27 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stare.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English starian; akin to Old High German starēn to stare, Greek stereos solid, Lithuanian starinti to stiffen

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1553, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stare was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near stare

Cite this Entry

“Stare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
ˈsta(ə)r How to pronounce stare (audio)
stared; staring
: to look hard and long often with wide-open eyes
stare at a stranger
starer noun


2 of 2 noun
: the act or an instance of staring

More from Merriam-Webster on stare

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