stare(redirected from staring)
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be staring (one) in the face
1. To be an unavoidable situation or issue. I know you don't want to pay for this expensive course of treatment, but if you keep ignoring your health, a hospital stay will be staring you in the face.
2. To be very obvious, especially suddenly. Thanks to all of those failed experiments, the solution is finally staring me in the face! Unfortunately, the solution—to break up—had been staring us in the face all along.
stare (someone or something) in the face
1. Literally, to make direct and uninterrupted eye contact with someone. She just walked up to the boss, stared him in the face, and asked for a raise! I could never do that!
2. To confront a situation or issue directly. The suffragettes stared injustice in the face and won the right to vote.
be staring something in the face
To be likely to experience or be affected by something, usually something unpleasant. Janet was staring death in the face for weeks—she really made a miraculous recovery
fix (someone) with a look
To look at someone intensely. He fixed me with a look, and I found myself mesmerized by what he was saying.
fix (someone) with a stare
To look at someone intensely. He fixed me with a stare, and I found myself mesmerized by what he was saying.
fix (someone) with a gaze
To look at someone intensely. He fixed me with a gaze, and I found myself mesmerized by what he was saying.
be looking (one) in the face
1. To be an unavoidable situation or issue. I know you don't want to pay for this expensive course of treatment, but if you keep ignoring your health, a hospital stay will be looking you in the face.
2. To be very obvious, especially suddenly. Thanks to all of those failed experiments, the solution is finally looking me in the face! Unfortunately, the solution—to break up—had been looking us in the face all along.
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.
1. To make direct and uninterrupted eye contact with someone in order to intimidate them or cause them to yield. She just walked up to the boss, stared him down, and told him she deserved a raise—I could never do something so gutsy! The big, burly guy kept staring me down, but I wasn't afraid.
2. To confront a situation or issue directly. These brave women stared down injustice and won the right to vote.
give someone a blank lookand give someone a blank stare
to look back at someone with a neutral look on one's face. After I told her to stop smoking, she just gave me a blank look and kept puffing.
look someone in the faceand look someone in the eye; stare someone in the face
Fig. to face someone directly. (Facing someone this way is a sign of sincerity.) I don't believe you. Look me in the eye and say that, She looked him in the face and said she never wanted to see him again.
stare at someone or something
to look fixedly at someone or something. Why are you staring at me? I was staring at the scenery behind you.
See also: stare
stare into something
to gaze fixedly into something. she just sat there, staring into space. Tom stared into the water, hoping to see a fish or maybe a turtle.
See also: stare
stare out at someone or something
1. to be in a place staring outward at someone or something. I stayed in my little room and stared out at the others having fun in the crisp fall air. We stared out at the deep snow.
2. [for a face or eyes visible in a place] to be seen staring outward from that place. Two bright little cat eyes stared out at me from the basket. Her faced stared out of the tiny window.
stare someone down
to pressure someone to capitulate, back down, or yield by staring. Don't try to stare me down. I have nerves of steel. I tried to stare down my opponent, but it didn't work.
stare someone in the face
1. Go to look someone in the face.
2. [for evidence] to confront someone directly. (Fig. on stare someone in the face; look someone in the face.) Finally, the truth stared me in the face, and I had to admit to myself what had really happened. When the facts in the case stared the jury in the face, there was nothing they could do but acquit.
stark raving mad
Cliché totally insane; completely crazy; out of control. (Often an exaggeration.) When she heard about what happened at the office, she went stark raving mad. You must be start raving mad if you think I would trust you with my car!
Cause someone to waver or give in by or as if by being stared at. For example, Insisting on a better room, he stared down the manager until he got it. This expression alludes to staring at someone without being the first to blink or lower one's gaze. [Mid-1800s]
stare in the face
Also, look in the face. Be glaringly obvious, although initially overlooked, as in The solution to the problem had been staring me in the face all along, or I wouldn't know a Tibetan terrier if it looked me in the face. [Late 1600s]
stark raving mad
Totally crazy, as in The constant uncertainty over his job is making him stark raving mad. This term, meaning "completely wildly insane," is used both hyperbolically and literally. Versions of this expression appear to have sprung from the minds of great literary figures. Stark mad was first recorded by poet John Skelton in 1489; stark raving was first recorded by playwright John Beaumont in 1648; stark staring mad was first used by John Dryden in 1693. The current wording, stark raving mad, first appeared in Henry Fielding's The Intriguing Chambermaid in 1734.
be staring someone in the face
If the facts about something are staring you in the face, they are very obvious, although you may not yet have realized this. Even when the evidence is staring them in the face they deliberately misread it. Sometimes you're trying to solve a complex problem, and you suddenly realise that the answer has been staring you in the face all along.
be staring something in the face
COMMON If you are staring a bad situation in the face, the situation is very likely to happen, or will happen soon. At 5-0 down, she was staring defeat in the face. Some of my patients are actually staring death in the face. Note: You can also say that the bad situation is staring you in the face. Failure was staring Marconi in the face.
be staring someone in the face(of a fact or object) be glaringly apparent or obvious.
be staring something in the face(of a person) be on the verge of defeat, death, or ruin.
look/stare you in the ˈface(usually used in progressive tenses) (of a fact, an answer, a situation, etc.) be obvious but not noticed: The answer to the problem had been staring her in the face for years but she hadn’t seen it. ♢ ‘Where’s that book?’ ‘There in front of you, looking you in the face.’
fix somebody with a ˈlook, ˈstare, ˈgaze, etc.look directly at somebody for a long time: He fixed her with an angry stare.
look/stare/gaze into ˈspacelook 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.
stare something in the ˈfacebe unable to avoid something: They were staring defeat in the face.
To intimidate someone or cause someone to submit by staring: I was able to stare down the lion, and it turned and ran away. If your enemies try to stare you down, just smile back at them.
stare in the face
1. To be plainly visible or obvious to (one); force itself on (one's) attention: The money on the table was staring her in the face.
2. To be obvious to (one) though initially overlooked: The explanation had been staring him in the face all along.
3. To be imminent or unavoidable to (one): Bankruptcy now stares us in the face.
4. To be about to experience or undergo (something dire): We are staring bankruptcy in the face.