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gape

[geyp, gap] /geɪp, gæp/
verb (used without object), gaped, gaping.
1.
to stare with open mouth, as in wonder.
2.
to open the mouth wide involuntarily, as the result of hunger, sleepiness, or absorbed attention.
3.
to open as a gap; split or become open wide.
noun
4.
a wide opening; gap; breach.
5.
an act or instance of gaping.
6.
a stare, as in astonishment or with the mouth wide open.
7.
a yawn.
8.
Zoology. the width of the open mouth.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Old Norse gapa to open the mouth wide; compare German gaffen
Related forms
gapingly, adverb
subgape, verb (used without object), subgaped, subgaping.
ungaping, adjective
Synonyms
1. See gaze. 2, 3. yawn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for gape
  • Any in-shell shellfish that gape open should be discarded.
  • Faults, however, do not gape open during an earthquake.
  • Now it could eat fish that were bigger than its gape.
  • Half complete, the dam is already a local wonder that tourists gape at.
  • Eye dark, with bright red orbital ring, carmine gape.
  • Most of them are regarded as fever dreams, or tales invented to make the greenhorn gape.
  • Sometimes, holes gape where once entire houses stood.
  • One could only gape at the significance of the event.
  • There is a kitchen on view for museumgoers to gape at.
  • But outside the cameras' frame, seats gape empty in the bleachers, even at the climactic moments.
British Dictionary definitions for gape

gape

/ɡeɪp/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to stare in wonder or amazement, esp with the mouth open
2.
to open the mouth wide, esp involuntarily, as in yawning or hunger
3.
to be or become wide open the crater gaped under his feet
noun
4.
the act of gaping
5.
a wide opening; breach
6.
the width of the widely opened mouth of a vertebrate
7.
a stare or expression of astonishment
See also gapes
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse gapa; related to Middle Dutch gapen, Danish gabe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gape
v.

early 13c., from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old Norse gapa "to open the mouth, gape," common West Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch gapen, German gaffen "to gape, stare," Swedish gapa, Danish gabe), from PIE *ghai- (see gap). Related: Gaped; gaping. As a noun, from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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