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gaze, n.

Forms:  Also 1500s gase.(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use):  Show frequency band information
Etymology: < gaze v.

1. That which is gazed or stared at. Obsolete.In the first quot. gase may be another word or an unmeaning invention.

[1523   J. Skelton Goodly Garlande of Laurell sig. E.ij   This fustiane maistres and this giggisse gase.]
1542   N. Udall tr. Erasmus Apophthegmes f. 25   But this wise manne thought better to shewe of hymself an example of paciente suffreaunce, then to shewe a gase or sight for folkes to laugh at, in..contendyng wt his wife.
1546   T. Langley tr. P. Vergil Abridgem. Notable Worke vi. viii. 125   Outwarde apparell of the body, which is rather a gloriouse gase then anye godlye edifiying.
1609   W. Shakespeare Sonnets v. sig. Bv   Those howers that with gentle worke did frame, The louely gaze where euery eye doth dwell.
1671   J. Milton Samson Agonistes 34   Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze .  View more context for this quotation
1739   W. Melmoth Fitzosborne Lett. (1763) 382   Who are more the gaze and admiration of the people in general?
1797   A. M. Bennett Beggar Girl II. vi. 90   His father lolled in his coach, and was the gaze of the village of Penry.

1542—1797(Hide quotations)


 2. The act of looking fixedly or intently; a steady or intent look.

1566   T. Drant tr. Horace Medicinable Morall sig. Dvj   For weryed with my bookishe gase, I noynte with supple oyle, My loytrous limmes.
a1592   R. Greene Frier Bacon (1594) sig. G   Fancie that slippeth in with a gase, goeth out with a winke.
1712   R. Steele Spectator No. 406. ⁋6   In vain, you envious Streams, so fast you flow, To hide her from a Lover's ardent Gaze.
1718   Entertainer No. xxii. 148   Beauty such as mov'd the whole City to Gaze and Admiration.
1794   S. T. Coleridge Monody Death Chatterton (rev. ed.) in T. Chatterton Poems p. xxvii   Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll On Scenes that well might melt thy Soul.
1822   W. Irving Bracebridge Hall xxvii. 244   Every event is a matter of gaze and gossip.
1849   T. B. Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. ii. 235   The corpse..was exhibited during several days to the gaze of great multitudes.
1879   F. W. Farrar Life & Work St. Paul I. iii. x. 187   Who was this to whom His followers turned their last gaze?
1814   H. F. Cary tr. Dante Vision III. v. 129   The sun..when his warm gaze Hath on the mantle of thick vapours prey'd.
1841   R. Browning Pippa Passes Introd., in Bells & Pomegranates No. I 3/1   Day, if I waste a wavelet of thee..One of thy gazes, one of thy glances.

1566—1879(Hide quotations)

 3. Phrases.

a. at first gaze: at first sight. to give (a person) the gaze : to be a spectator of, look on at. (to have) in gaze : in prospect. to set oneself at gaze : to expose oneself to view, display oneself.

1577   R. Stanyhurst Treat. Descr. Irelande vi. f. 22/1, in R. Holinshed Chron. I   You must not thinke..that you were sent gouernour into Ireland,..to penne your selfe vp within a towne or citie, to giue rebels the gaze.
1587   J. Hooker Chron. Ireland 83/2 in Holinshed's Chron. (new ed.) II   One of the earle his capteins presented him a band of Kerns..and withall demanded of the erle in what seruice he would haue them imploied? Marie (quoth he) let them stand by and giue vs the gaze.
a1652   R. Brome Court Begger ii. i. sig. O7v, in Five New Playes (1653)    To set your selfe at gaze to draw them on.
a1657   R. Loveday Lett. (1663) 235   Repugnant to any apprehension that at first gaze did not appear a visible aid to the cause.

1577—a1657(Hide quotations)


 b. at gaze, †at a or the gaze ; said of a deer (now chiefly Heraldry: see quot. 1828-40), also of persons: in the attitude of gazing, esp. in wonder, expectancy, bewilderment, etc. So in to stand at (a, the) gaze , †to set at the gaze , etc. †to hold at gaze : to hold fascinated. Also with other prepositions as †in a gaze, gaze on, upon the gaze; †to put to the gaze : to puzzle, nonplus. See also agaze adv.

1578   J. Lyly Euphues f. 23   I haue read..that the whole heard of Deare stande at the gaze, if they smell a sweete apple.
1594   T. Lodge & R. Greene Looking Glasse sig. A4   Whose eye holds wanton Venus at a gaze.
1603   R. Knolles Gen. Hist. Turkes 309   A sheep-heard..strucken with the majestie of the man, stood at gaze vpon him.
1622   F. Bacon Hist. Raigne Henry VII 137   Especially as many as were English: who were at a gaze looking strange one upon another.
1646   Sir C. Cavendish Let. to Pell in R. Vaughan Protect. Cromwell (1838) II. 374   The business is too difficult for me to judge of, for it puts our learned men here to the gaze.
a1657   R. Loveday Lett. (1663) 140   I had still a likelyhood in gaze.
1680   J. Dryden in J. Dryden et al. tr. Ovid Epist. Pref. sig. a2   Pindar is generally known to be a dark writer, to want Connexion..to soar out of sight, and leave his Reader at a Gaze.
1704   J. Swift Tale of Tub ix. 162   This Vapor..had so long set the Nations at a Gaze.
a1715   Bp. G. Burnet Hist. Own Time (1724) I. 75   And when the time of setting out the fleet came on, all were in a gaze whither it was to go.
1749   Visct. Bolingbroke Lett. Spirit Patriotism 22   All indifferent men stood as it were at a gaze.
1817   T. Chalmers Series Disc. Christian Revelation iv. 140   Where..the earnest intelligent contemplation of God is the constant exercise, there is nothing..that can so set his adoring myriads upon the gaze, as some new..evolution of the character of God.
1828–40   W. Berry Encycl. Her. I. (at cited word)   The hart, stag, buck, or hind, when borne in coat-armour, looking affrontée or full-faced, is said to be at gaze..but all other beasts in this attitude are called guardant.
1859   J. White Hist. France (1860) 20   On this occasion all Europe was on the gaze.
1864   C. Boutell Heraldry Hist. & Pop. (ed. 3) xix. §5. 310   Vert, three Harts at gaze or.
1874   F. W. Farrar Life Christ II. lxi. 407   The great body of the people seem to have stood silently at gaze.

1578—1874(Hide quotations)


 c. at gaze: by sight (said of a hunting-dog).

1865   G. F. Berkeley My Life & Recoll. II. 236   I called on my deer dog ‘Thor’ to help me, for he could run a deer by nose as well as at gaze.

1865—1865(Hide quotations)


Draft additions October 2001


   [compare French regard   (J. M. E. Lacan Quatre Concepts Fondamentaux de la Psychanalyse (1973) viii. 78, translated in quot. 1977).] A way of regarding people or things which is considered to embody certain aspects of the relationship between the observer and the observed; esp. as expressed in art, literature, film, etc., by how an author chooses (consciously or not) to direct his or her (and hence the audience's) attention. Chiefly with the.Frequently in   the male gaze   n. a characteristically male perspective, esp. one thought to reveal chauvinistic, misogynistic, or voyeuristic attitudes.

1973   N. Burch Theory of Film Practice p. ix   Expanding and intensifying the illusionism of that spatial continuum in which the beholder's gaze and attention is..free.., Welle's depth of field and Rossellini's long shots permit the beholder to encounter and explore the visual field.
1975   Screen Autumn 11   The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure.
1977   tr. J. M. E. Lacan Four Fund. Concepts Psychoanal. vi. 73   In our relation to things, in so far as this relation is constituted by the way of vision, and ordered in the figures of representation, something slips, passes, is transmitted, from stage to stage, and is always to some degree eluded in it—that is what we call the gaze.
1979   E. A. Snow Stud. Vermeer 28   The women [in Degas' paintings] are..delivered not only from the male gaze but from any introjected awareness of it.
1985   Sydney Morning Herald 27 July 47/4   Close Remarks is a considerably more rarified and intellectually challenging exhibition than Heartlands, and viewers will find it quite educational, for it addresses recent controversies about, for example, the politics of representation and the politics of the gaze.
1990   Rouge Winter 21/1   In lesbian theatre we can assert the lesbian gaze as spectators and critics.
1991   Women: Cultural Rev. Spring 60   She distinguished three aspects to the gaze: that of the eye of the camera registering the pro-filmic event, that of the spectator viewing the film, and that of the characters on the screen looking at each other.
1996   Afr. Amer. Rev. 30 20/2   The narrator's adoption of the white gaze is perhaps most obvious, however, when he analyzes at length the ‘three classes’ of ‘colored people’ in Jacksonville.
2001   Jrnl. Gender Stud. (Nexis) Mar. 94   The male poet's descriptive strategies are seen as objectifying his female addressee and the subject of his discourse in the same way that the male ‘gaze’ objectifies the woman in narrative cinema.

1973—2001(Hide quotations)


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