stare (off) 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 ?
A mum pushing a buggy with one hand and phone in the other while the child stares into space.
"She barely speaks at all now and just stares into space.
Gareth stares into space, apparently unaware who this woman and child are.
The preferred 3-item-combination for inattention included: Can't concentrate, can't pay attention for too long; Stares into space; and Is inattentive.
He stared into space slightly more meaningfully than he usually stares into space. Not even a gurgle broke his traumatised silence.
He stares into space with a faraway look and I know he's still thinking of her.