What is a verb meaning "to look at affectionately" in a way that is distinctly visible in the subject's facial expression? For example in

Alice beams at Bob.

the action is visually and emotionally evocative. (However I think "beams at" mostly connotes approval.) Also, this should be appropriate for a parent-child relationship.

  • After reading more about ELL, I think this should be moved to English SE.
    – Andy Lee
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 21:23
  • 1
    Andy: As you wish....
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 22:53
  • 2
    "To gaze benevolently or lovingly" ?
    – Graffito
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 0:02
  • 1
    I was looking for a single word. Perhaps "gaze" is the closest in all of English.
    – Andy Lee
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 2:30
  • "Gazed upon" could definitely work. It seems to convey a measure of adoration or reverence, particularly if you attach some appropriate adjective to the object of the gaze. I.e., "gazed upon his heroic visage" or some such.
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 17:49

3 Answers 3


Gaze means "to look steadily, intently, and with fixed attention."1

In one sense, it is a term popularized by psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan for the anxious state that comes with the awareness that one can be viewed. The psychological effect, Lacan argues, is that the subject loses a degree of autonomy upon realizing that he or she is a visible object.



I would go for the word DOTE usually followed by the preposition on/upon to mean " shower some one with love and excessive affection."

It is the German origin and excessive fondness which go to mean " act in a foolish manner" as King Lear's 'senile dotage'— the other meaning of 'dote'. However the word is often used without the foolish overtone.


Some alternatives:

moon over
to spend time thinking about someone who you are attracted to instead of doing anything useful

to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval.

to regard with blind adoration, devotion, etc.

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