intr.v. gazed, gaz·ing, gaz·es
To look steadily, intently, and with fixed attention.
A steady, fixed look.
[Middle English gasen, probably of Scandinavian origin.]
Synonyms: gaze, stare, gape, gawk, glare1, peer1
These verbs mean to look long and intently. Gaze is often indicative of wonder, fascination, awe, or admiration: We spent the evening gazing at the stars.
Stare can indicate curiosity, boldness, rudeness, or stupidity: The children stared closely at the creatures in the aquarium.
Gape suggests a prolonged open-mouthed look reflecting amazement, awe, or lack of intelligence: "The room fell silent when [she] entered, the three women by the hearth gaping openly at her as if she'd sprouted a third eye in her forehead" (Kimberly Cutter).
To gawk is to gape or stare foolishly or rudely: Drivers gawked at the overturned truck.
To glare is to fix another with a hard, piercing stare: "While one security guard glared beneath beetling brows, the others surveyed the world with studied indifference" (Christine Lehner).
To peer is to look narrowly, searchingly, and seemingly with difficulty: She peered at us through her glasses.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.