For instance:

The beggar ______ at the wealthy landowner.

This would be one word.

I have found phrases that describe some form of looked. Sullenly looked. Sadly watched.

I am, however, looking for a single word, like glared, but for this situation.

It would be nice if it could communicate that the watcher was lower than the one being watched.

  • 2
    Does it have to be a single-word? Can it be a phrase? - I suggest that you edit your question giving more details, what words you have found so far and why you didn't like them.
    – Centaurus
    Aug 29 '16 at 0:52
  • @Lawrence I think I added the required information. Aug 29 '16 at 2:34
  • @Lawrence unfortunately there's no reversing a close vote like one can a downvote. You may vote to reopen after 5 have voted to close.
    – Mitch
    Aug 29 '16 at 2:58
  • 2
    @Mitch They can be retracted. I've retracted mine for this question.
    – Lawrence
    Aug 29 '16 at 3:01
  • @Lawrence how do you do that?
    – Mitch
    Aug 29 '16 at 11:43

There are a lot of (more or less obscure) words out there that mean look at angrily or look sideways/askance at, but I haven't been able to identify any with the exact meaning look sadly at.

Close contenders (all definitions from the OED online, but quotations found in Google Books, rather than the OED's attestations):

gloom, v. 1

  1. intr. To look sullen or displeased; to frown, scowl, lower; also to gloom on or to gloom at (a person). In recent use also (through influence of gloomy adj.): To look dismal or dejected, to wear an air of sombre melancholy; to be gloomy.

Gloom is a fairly familiar term, at least as a noun, with clearly melancholic connotations. However, the usages I found for gloom at were all on the angry side of sad, and it doesn't have any implication that the gloomer is subordinate to the gloomee.

languish, v.

  1. c. To adopt a languid look, expression, or pose, as an indication of sorrowful or tender emotion. Now arch. and rare. In quot. 1714 trans.: to bestow upon with a languid look.

For a nearly contemporary example:

"Oh what d'you think? she languished at him in this quivering schoolchild way the way they do, just pathetic." (William Spackman, An Armful of Warm Girl, 1981.)

Languish has some of the connotation of an imbalance if power, but I think that in the languish at form it is usually the tender emotions being evoked, rather than sorrowful.

lour/lower, v.

  1. Thesaurus »

1.a. intr. Of persons, their eyes, countenances, etc.: To frown, scowl; to look angry or sullen. †Also, to be depressed or mournful. Const. at, on, upon; rarely in indirect passive.

Unfortunately, again most of the Examples I could find come much closer to glaring or scowling than what I think you're after, but this quotation does have some of the connotations I think you want:

Gunpat's house, with its sightless windows, its towers, its endless terraces, its unnecessary ornamentation, its massive porch, lowered at him like a forsaken wedding cake. (Brian Aldiss, Galaxies Like Grains of Sand, 2014)

And finally,

peep, v. 1

II. Senses relating to looking. 3. intr. To look through a narrow aperture, as through half-shut eyelids or through a crevice, chink, or small opening into a larger space; (hence) to look quickly or furtively from a vantage point; to steal a glance. Also in fig. context.

Given the sense of furtiveness and, I think, the association with baby peeps, this one has the strongest sense of the one looking being smaller in some way than the one being looked at, but unfortunately it does not have anything to do with sadness.

If course, you might productively combine any of these with an adverb to sharpen your meaning, if your main concern is avoiding the word look rather than having a unitary verb. Dolefully send especially apropos.

One other possibility would be to coin your own phrase; if you use the construction verbed/adjectived up at him I think you will get across the idea of looking and the power differential. So

The beggar yearned up at the landowner.

The beggar woebegoned up at the landowner.

And so forth.

  • Answer shows a lot of work and research. Thumbs up. I think the only way the OP will be able to describe the desired glance will be to use a phrase.
    – Mark G B
    Dec 19 '17 at 3:02

May I propose the word wistful.

Having or showing sad thoughts and feelings about something that you want to have or do. Merriam-Webster.

The old man looked wistfully upon the young couple who evoked memories of his youth and first-love.

  • Alas, Opie insists on a word that does not need to be associated with "looked".
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 31 '16 at 1:20


(pine [after/over/for/at] someone or something)

to long for or grieve for someone or something. Bob pined after Doris for weeks after she left. Dan is still pining for his lost dog. There is no point in pining over Claire.TFD

"The beggar pined at the wealthy landowner."

See also, covet : "to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others" –dictionary.com


May I suggest envy?

To feel displeasure or hatred towards (someone) for their good fortune or possessions.

It doesn't quite convey sadness, but does spring to mind when talking about a beggar looking at someone wealthy.

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