Is there an idiom or a single verb for a patronizing stare or a demanding look? As if someone can speak with his looks and says something like "No!", "Stop!", "Do it now!" and makes people obey no matter how much they don't want to.

  • Yes, the word that describes a demanding look is demanding. – RegDwigнt Apr 24 '15 at 14:23
  • It's not a verb, but your description makes me want to say 'Ocular hack'. – David Pugh Apr 24 '15 at 14:29

We can say an imperious look.

  • Merriam-Webster defines imperious as having or showing the proud and unpleasant attitude of someone who gives orders and expects other people to obey them. That comes pretty close, I think, to the OP's "patronizing stare or a demanding look". – TRomano Apr 24 '15 at 14:36
  • The OP mentions "make people obey no matter how much they don't want to". The Collins dictionary cites the following as synonyms for "imperious": domineering, dictatorial, bossy, haughty, lordly, commanding, arrogant, authoritative, autocratic, overbearing, tyrannical, magisterial, despotic, high-handed, overweening, tyrannous – TRomano Apr 24 '15 at 14:41

An old saying for a demanding look is, to look at someone with "daggers in your eyes."

If you are being patronizing, you would give someone a "withering look". (To cause them to "shrivel up")(US)

  • But "looking daggers" has nothing to do with making people do things. They realise you want to get medieval on their asses, that's all. "Withering look" likewise, no compulsion or geas implied, they just know you despise them or strongly disapprove of what they just said/did. – David Pugh Apr 24 '15 at 15:27
  • @David Pugh - Really? Are you married? Have kids? I find "dagger looks" quite effective for getting feet wiped, wet towels off the floor, 'put back that cookie jar, this instant!", etc. – Oldbag Apr 24 '15 at 17:05
  • Then I won't marry you! – David Pugh Apr 24 '15 at 18:01

In the UK, it is often referred to as a "Paddington stare".

This refers to the character Paddington Bear who found fame in the books of Michael Bond, which have been adapted for TV and movie.

“Paddington had a very persistent stare when he cared to use it. It was a very powerful stare. One which his Aunt Lucy had taught him and which he kept for special occasions.”

Examples of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown using the technique may be found here with an article entitled "Gordon Brown Fixes Adam Boulton With A Paddington Bear Stare"


a [patronizing, etc] frown, scowl, glower, lower, gloom

Water from the best fount:-)

A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words Merriam-Webster, Inc - 1984

Frown, scowl, glower, lower, gloom are comparable when they mean to put on a dark or malignant countenance or aspect.

[read the entire discrimination]


Maybe an "importunate" look..?

  • Merriam Webster: Importunate: 1. troublesomely urgent : overly persistent in request or demand. – Kieran Wilder Apr 24 '15 at 17:37

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