Etymology
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stare (v.)

Old English starian "to stare, gaze, look fixedly at," from Proto-Germanic *staren "be rigid" (source also of Old Norse stara, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch staren, Old High German staren, German starren "to stare at;" German starren "to stiffen," starr "stiff;" Old Norse storr "proud;" Old High German storren "to stand out, project;" Gothic andstaurran "to be obstinate"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff."

Not originally implying rudeness. To stare (someone) down is from 1848. Related: Stared; staring.

stare (n.1)

late 14c., "power of sight," from stare (v.). From c. 1700 as "a fixed gaze."

stare (n.2)

"starling," from Old English (see starling).

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Definitions of stare
1
stare (v.)
look at with fixed eyes;
The students stared at the teacher with amazement
Synonyms: gaze
stare (v.)
fixate one's eyes;
2
stare (n.)
a fixed look with eyes open wide;
From wordnet.princeton.edu