Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To stare or gape stupidly. synonym: gaze.
  • noun An awkward or clumsy person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A cuckoo. [Scotch and North. Eng.] — 2. A stupid, awkward fellow; a fool; a simpleton; a booby. Also gawky.
  • Foolish.
  • To act like a gawk; go about awkwardly; look like a fool.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A cuckoo.
  • noun A simpleton; a booby; a gawky.
  • intransitive verb To act like a gawky.
  • intransitive verb To stare with empty-minded fascination; to stare stupidly; to gape; -- usually used with at.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a simpleton, stupid or clumsy person.
  • noun a cuckoo
  • noun a fool
  • verb To stare or gape stupidly
  • verb To stare conspicuously.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an awkward stupid person
  • verb look with amazement; look stupidly

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps alteration (influenced by gawk, awkward person) of obsolete gaw, to gape, from Middle English gawen, from Old Norse , to heed. N., probably from English dialectal gawk, left (as in gawk hand, left hand).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A Middle-Appalachian Americanism, since late 1800s, possibly misconstruing French "gauche," and leading to use of adj gawky for a person or process that is uncoordinated or awkward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From a variant of gowk, from Middle English gowke, from Old Norse gaukr ("cuckoo"), from Proto-Germanic *gaukaz (“cuckoo”). Cognate with Danish gøg, Swedish gök, German Gauch, Old English ġēac. More at yeke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps from Old Norse  ("to heed").

Examples

Comments

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  • Ebenezer and the farmer, gawking up, saw the tree descending on them and they were petrified with terror. Both realized they would rather not die at this particular time.

    - William Steig, Farmer Palmer's Wagon Ride

    September 29, 2008