1. Gaze, stare, gape suggest looking fixedly at something. To gaze is to look steadily and intently at something, especially at that which excites admiration, curiosity, or interest: to gaze at scenery, at a scientific experiment. To stare is to gaze with eyes wide open, as from surprise, wonder, alarm, stupidity, or impertinence: to stare unbelievingly or rudely. Gape is a word with uncomplimentary connotations; it suggests open-mouthed, often ignorant or rustic wonderment or curiosity: to gape at a tall building or a circus parade.