Difference Between Gazing and Looking

Main Difference – Gazing vs Looking

Gazing and looking are both related to sight and the act of directing your eyes in a particular direction. But, the difference between gazing and looking depends on the time period and manner. Looking simply refers to act of directing your eyes in a particular direction whereas gazing refers to the act of looking at something in a steady way, usually for a longer time period. This is the main difference between gazing and looking.

This article covers,

1. What is Grazing – Definition, Meaning and Examples

2. What is Looking – Definition, Meaning and Examples

3. What is the difference between Gazing and LookingDifference Between Gazing and Looking - Gazing vs Looking Comparison Summary

What is Gazing

Gazing refers to looking steadily, intently, and with fixed attention. The Oxford dictionary defines gaze as “look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought” and Merriam-Webster defines gaze as “to fix the eyes in a steady intent look often with eagerness or studious attention.” Thus, gazing refers to looking at something intently and with fixed attention, for a long period of time. Gaze can also imply emotions such as astonishment, admiration, and eagerness.

She gazed at the laughing children with longing.

I gazed out the window at the forest.

She gazed at me in surprise.

He gazed intently into her eyes.

You might have noticed from the above examples that gaze is an intransitive verb; it doesn’t require an object to give a complete meaning.

Difference Between Gazing and Looking

The man is gazing at the mountains.

What is Looking

Looking simply refers to the act of directing your eyes in a particular direction. The Oxford dictionary defines look as “direct one’s gaze in a specified direction” and Merriam-Webster defines it as the act of directing one’s eye and attention. Thus, look merely involves directing your eyes in a direction; however, you have to make a special effort to look at something, unlike seeing.

Given below are some sentences that use the word look:

Look straight and keep walking.

She looked up as I entered the room.

Everyone looked at his surprise.

You should look both ways before you cross the room.

She looked away as if she didn’t see me.

I looked at him and smiled.

Main Difference - Gazing vs Looking

The baby looked at his mother.

Difference Between Gazing and Looking


Gazing refers to the act of looking steadily, intently, and with fixed attention.

Looking refers to the act of directing your eyes in a particular direction.

Time Period

Gazing involves staring at something for a longer time period.

Looking do not imply a long time period.


Gaze is an intransitive verb.

Look is both intransitive and transitive.

Image Courtesy:

“1031387” (Public Domain) via

“Halloween Boy Pointing” (Public Domain) via 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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