I'm looking for a word for an intense look to replace "gaze" in the following context.

I look at Adaneene with resignation; I shouldn't have expected anything different, but instead of looking at me with blood-lust, she's looking into the woods around us.

She bares her teeth, clenches her hands, looks in four distinct directions. She's seen our backup.

Her gaze returns to Mac and I.

Now, I did use a reverse dictionary and thesaurus (http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml?s=Intense%20look) ; typed in "intense look" and a ton of words came up. The only words that were semi-applicable were the top three, "stare, gaze, and glare."

But, stare is not the right word because this character is not staring, she merely looking, or perhaps "observing keenly" or "noticing" would better describe what she is doing. But, I need a noun, and "keen observation" and "notice" would not fit at all.

Gaze is not the connotation I'm looking for.

Glare implies anger, which is not the case here.

So, is there a word I can use which would fit into this context?

  • 1
    If you check a thesaurus for, eg, "stare" you will get a bunch of suggestions.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 21, 2016 at 2:19
  • Gaze actually seems to work IMO. You say that it doesn't have the right connotations, but why? Many definitions actually use the descriptor intent. You could always use keen gaze over keen observation. Or even something like aggravated or antagonistic gaze depending on context.
    – DyingIsFun
    Jun 21, 2016 at 2:21
  • @silenus I can see what you mean, but it just doesn't seem right. When I think of gaze I think of star-gazing or gazing at the moon, not gazing at people that could potentially be prey. Jun 21, 2016 at 2:25
  • Well, if it helps convince you, here are some examples of malicious gaze: google.com/…. Plug in other adjectives as you see fit.
    – DyingIsFun
    Jun 21, 2016 at 2:31
  • How 'bout attention?
    – Jim
    Jun 21, 2016 at 3:11

3 Answers 3


You could say that her focus returns.

a : a center of activity, attraction, or attention
definition from m-w.com

(and it would be "to Mac and me", not "to Mac and I"; you and Mac are the object, and thus any pronoun there should be in the objective case.)


1 ogle : verb \ ˈō-gəl also ˈä- \

to look at especially with greedy or interested attention.

This is the closest I can get to your request. Hope it helps



A) 1. Gawk "stare openly and stupidly." 2. They all stopped to gawk at the artwork done by a little girl; a masterwork that rendered a powerful Phoenix bird.

  • It doesn't really fit into the sentence in the question though. Apr 1, 2019 at 19:40

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