Gaze

(1 syl., g hard). To stand at gaze. To stand in doubt what to do. A term in forestry. When a stag first hears the hounds it stands dazed, looking all round, and in doubt what to do.

Heralds call a stag which is represented full-faced, a “stag at gaze.”

“The American army in the central states remained wholly at gaze.” —Lord Mahon: History.

As the poor frighted deer, that stands at gaze,
Wildly determining which way to fly.

Shakespeare: Rape of Lucrece, 1149-50.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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