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]

to stare: to glare: to gaze: to

glance: to peer:

to peer:

Denotation

Connotations

to look

steadily, lastingly

in surprise, curiosity, etc.

to look

steadily, lastingly

in anger, rage, fury

to look

steadily, lastingly

in tenderness, admiration, wonder

to look

briefly, in passing

to look

steadily, lastingly

by stealth; through an opening or from a concealed location

to look

steadily, lastingly

with difficulty or strain

The common denotation convincingly shows that, according to the semantic criterion, the words grouped in the above table are synonyms. The connotative components represented on the right side of the table highlight their differentiations.

In modern research on synonyms the criterion of interchangeability is sometimes applied. According to this, synonyms are defined as words which are interchangeable at least in some contexts without any considerable alteration in denotational meaning. [4]

This criterion of interchangeability has been much criticised. Every or almost every attempt to apply it to this or that group of synonyms seems to lead one to the inevitable conclusion that either there are very few synonyms or, else, that they are not interchangeable.

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