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[gawk] /gɔk/
verb (used without object)
to stare stupidly; gape:
The onlookers gawked at arriving celebrities.
an awkward, foolish person.
Origin of gawk
1775-85; apparently representing OE word meaning fool, equivalent to ga(gol) foolish + -oc -ock; used attributively in gawk hand, gallock hand left hand
1. peer, ogle, gaze, goggle, rubberneck. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gawk
  • But even while you may gawk in amazement at this show, it starts to wear thin.
  • They put him in their chicken coop, where villagers pay to gawk.
  • They are monuments for spiritual travelers, who often came great distances, to gawk at and be stirred by.
  • The players had the look of two contest winners trying not to gawk at their five-star hotel.
  • Durning asks the other shoppers, who have gathered to gawk.
  • Or you can play until the wine bottles are drained, and it's time to go outside to gawk at the stars.
  • The hyperbole is comforting, and offers the viewer a safe distance from which to point and gawk.
  • But when the snow stopped, residents ventured outside on foot to gawk at the mountains of snow.
  • Participants are, of course, tethered while they walk and gawk at the city below.
  • One afternoon at the river camp three settlers appeared in a dugout canoe, drawn by the universal impulse to gawk at disaster.
British Dictionary definitions for gawk


a clumsy stupid person; lout
(intransitive) to stare in a stupid way; gape
Word Origin
C18: from Old Danish gaukr; probably related to gape
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 gawk

1785, American English, perhaps from gaw, a survival from Middle English gowen "to stare" (c.1200), from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse ga "to heed," from Proto-Germanic *gawon-, from PIE *ghow-e- "to honor, revere, worship" (see favor (n.)); and altered perhaps by gawk hand (see gawky). Liberman writes that it "need not have been derived from gowk. It is possibly another independent imitative formation with the structure g-k. Related: Gawked; gawking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gawk



To stare; gape stupidly: locals gathered to gawk at strange lights/ They went in and out of the garage to gawk at the body

[1785+; fr dialect gawk, gouk, ''fool, idiot,'' literally ''cuckoo'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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gawk in Technology
tool, language
GNU awk. Gawk is a superset of standard awk and includes some Plan 9 features.
David Trueman and Arnold Robbins of Georgia Institute of Technology were developing it in 1993. It has been ported to Unix, MS-DOS, Macintosh, and Archimedes.
Latest version: 2.15.3, as of 1993-11-08.
Available by FTP from your nearest GNU archive site.
Mac version (
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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