Definition of stare in English:

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Pronunciation: /ster/


[no object]
1Look fixedly or vacantly at someone or something with one’s eyes wide open: he stared at her in amazement Robin sat staring into space, her mind numb
More example sentences
  • The rest of us sat staring into space, apparently waiting for an answer to arrive like a visitor from the spirit world.
  • I just couldn't muster the willpower to finish them off and was just sat staring into space.
  • This meant that I had low energy and I tended to sit and stare into space.
gaze, gape, goggle, glare, ogle, peer
informal gawk, rubberneck
1.1(Of a person’s eyes) be wide open, with a fixed or vacant expression: her gray eyes stared back at him
More example sentences
  • They were like the zombies of paradise, their mouths hanging open, their eyes staring up at the screen.
  • His fists pumped the air, wide eyes staring at the night sky that he had thought he would never see again.
  • Her mask had gone and her eyes were staring, wide with obvious panic but unseeing.
1.2(Of a thing) be unpleasantly prominent or striking: the obituaries stared out at us
More example sentences
  • He finally turned his gaze to her, his glare seeming to stare straight into her soul.
  • Just a few feet off the starboard bow, the bloated carcass of a full-grown steer stared back at us.


A long fixed or vacant look: she gave him a cold stare
More example sentences
  • He gave me a cold stare and returned his attention to his girlfriend.
  • He returned his cold stare to the carefree couple below and fantasized about his victory.
  • She gazed at him in wonder, and he returned her stare with a look of friendly curiosity.



be staring something in the face

Be on the verge of something inevitable or inescapable: our team was staring defeat in the face
More example sentences
  • When Steve Prescott scored his second just after the break Salford were staring a hefty defeat in the face.
  • Football League oblivion is staring the club in the face.
  • Just four months ago, the LDP was staring an electoral disaster in the face.

stare someone in the eye (or face)

Look fixedly or boldly at someone.
Example sentences
  • The reporter was stunned by an official staring him in the eye and telling a straight lie.
  • It makes you work - the bad review staring you in the face.
  • It's logical not to want a soulless existence in an air-conditioned office, with a PC staring you in the face and stack of returns to input.

stare someone in the face

Be glaringly apparent or obvious: the answer had been staring him in the face
More example sentences
  • But sometimes you don't need to ask questions because the answer is staring you in the face.
  • The answer is staring us in the face and organisations need to get on and do something about it.
  • I know that the answer is staring me in the face, I just can't see it.

Phrasal verbs

stare someone down

Look fixedly at someone, typically in a hostile or intimidating way, until they feel forced to look away.
Example sentences
  • He stared me down, a bit unnervingly I might add.
  • Charlie continued to stare me down with a very intimidating gaze.
  • And it's difficult to feel relaxed and contented at home if you've got the house-mate from hell staring you down across the kitchen.



Pronunciation: /ˈsterər/
Example sentences
  • Johansson loves the fact that she's now someone others stare at because she's a self-confessed starer.
  • The stare-down occurs if the said starer just feels the other girl is prettier.
  • Sheldrake suggests that the two starers may have differed in their beliefs concerning the ability to detect unseen staring.


Old English starian, of Germanic origin, from a base meaning 'be rigid'.

Words that rhyme with stare

affair, affaire, air, Altair, Althusser, Anvers, Apollinaire, Astaire, aware, Ayer, Ayr, bare, bear, bêche-de-mer, beware, billionaire, Blair, blare, Bonaire, cafetière, care, chair, chargé d'affaires, chemin de fer, Cher, Clair, Claire, Clare, commissionaire, compare, concessionaire, cordon sanitaire, couvert, Daguerre, dare, debonair, declare, derrière, despair, doctrinaire, éclair, e'er, elsewhere, ensnare, ere, extraordinaire, Eyre, fair, fare, fayre, Finisterre, flair, flare, Folies-Bergère, forbear, forswear, foursquare, glair, glare, hair, hare, heir, Herr, impair, jardinière, Khmer, Kildare, La Bruyère, lair, laissez-faire, legionnaire, luminaire, mal de mer, mare, mayor, meunière, mid-air, millionaire, misère, Mon-Khmer, multimillionaire, ne'er, Niger, nom de guerre, outstare, outwear, pair, pare, parterre, pear, père, pied-à-terre, Pierre, plein-air, prayer, questionnaire, rare, ready-to-wear, rivière, Rosslare, Santander, savoir faire, scare, secretaire, share, snare, solitaire, Soufrière, spare, square, stair, surface-to-air, swear, Tailleferre, tare, tear, their, there, they're, vin ordinaire, Voltaire, ware, wear, Weston-super-Mare, where, yeah

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: stare

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