look/stare/gaze into space

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stare (off) into space

To stare vacantly or absentmindedly at nothing in particular, usually while one is preoccupied with or distracted by thoughts of something else. I sat at the back of class, staring off into space, when suddenly the solution came to me. He just stared into space as his parents lectured him on the importance of paying attention during class.
See also: space, stare

look/stare/gaze into ˈspace

look straight in front of you without looking at a particular thing, usually because you are thinking about something: I asked her twice if she was ready to leave but she just sat there staring into space.
See also: gaze, look, space, stare
References in periodicals archive ?
Beauty should be celebrated and a whistle is a compliment, not a matter for some manufactured outrage Commentator Virginia Ironside defends the wolf whistle If we allowed our children a little bit more time to dream and stare into space they make connections and that's how you have ideas and great ideas.
Stare into space and think about absolutely nothing, don't make an effort at all.
It was not simply neurological damage which caused somebody to become agitated, hit a caregiver, frequently nod off or stare into space.
they would react in one of two ways: (a) Shrink back as if meeting Attila the Hun and scuttle into the sanctuary of their caravan, or (b) Even more bizarre, stare into space and simply pretend that the episode was not happening.
Poised between numbness and agitation, they stare into space like bit players whose roles are nonnegotiable though ambiguous.
Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy stare into space and down at the bench.
Many are so traumatised that they simply sit and stare into space.
He used to stare into space and visits to the doctor failed to come up with any answers, apart from a possible vitamin deficiency.
The bankrupt family Ranyevskaya are left to stare into space to extol the beauty of the fruit trees as they are about to be felled and replaced by holiday villas.
I've always liked the idea that the real architects of world peace might be old people sitting in wheelchairs, seeming to stare into space.
One day I put a palette of modelling clay in front of her in the hope of encouraging her, but all she could do was stare into space.
But one Durham councillor last night said the money would have been better spent on employing people to stare into space.
Like how come Les Battersby's nails are so well-manicured, why do Greg's shirt- and-tie sets look like they're just out of the box, and why does Rita stare into space every time Sal pours out her woes?