• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Gaper (Zoöl) A European fish. See 4th Comber.
    • Gaper (Zoöl) A large edible clam (Schizothærus Nuttalli), of the Pacific coast; -- called also gaper clam.
    • Gaper (Zoöl) An East Indian bird of the genus Cymbirhynchus, related to the broadbills.
    • Gaper One who gapes.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gaper One who gapes, as from sleepiness, drowsiness, or dullness, or in wonder, astonishment, longing desire, or expectation.
    • n gaper In ornithology:
    • n gaper One of the Eurylæmidœ; a broadbill: as, the blue-billed gaper, Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchus. See cut in next column.
    • n gaper plural Fissirostral birds, as swallows and the like: a literal translation of Hiantes, one of the names of the old group Fissirostres.
    • n gaper The Serranus cabrilla, a fish of the family Serranidæ. So called because the fish in its death-agony erects its fins and opens its mouth and thus stiffens, as is commonly seen in many of the spiny-rayed acanthopterygian fishes. Day. Also called comber.
    • n gaper A gaping clam; a bivalve mollusk of the family Myidæ, as Mya truncata. It has a suboval shell, the valves of which gape or dispart and are truncated at the small end and swollen at the other. The surface is wrinkled concentrically and covered with a palegreenish epidermis, which is continued over the siphons. It is a common inhabitant of the North Atlantic coasts, and lives buried in the sand in an upright position, especially at the mouths of rivers and estuaries near low-water mark. At ebb-tide it shows its presence by a hole in the sand left when it withdraws its siphon, and it is found by digging to the depth of a foot or more. These clams are extensively used for the table and for bait. Along the eastern coast of the United States the gaper is commonly known as the soft clam, or in more northern ranges simply as the clam. (See cut under Myidæ.) It has many synonyms in Great Britain: as, at Chichester, pullet; at Southampton, old-maid; at Belfast, cockle-brillion; at Dublin, collier; at Youghal, sugar-loon. On the Pacific coast of the United States the term gaper is applied to various similar bivalves, as species of Glycymer is, Saxidomus, and Schizothœrus.
    • ***


In literature:

It certainly entertained the gapers.
"The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan" by William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
In the front space the usual gapers were assembled.
"Rienzi" by Edward Bulwer Lytton
Winter cleared away the gapers, while Furneaux remained with the body.
"The Postmaster's Daughter" by Louis Tracy
This done, the gapers saw what they had come to see.
"The Castle Inn" by Stanley John Weyman
But when he came to the gapers his spirits sunk to zero.
"The Master of the Shell" by Talbot Baines Reed
I want a few trogons, and the blue-billed gaper.
"Middy and Ensign" by G. Manville Fenn
That blue-billed gaper probably came from Malacca, and the trogon too.
"Nat the Naturalist" by G. Manville Fenn
Pushing his way through these gapers, Barton found, as he expected, that his patient had fainted.
"The Mark Of Cain" by Andrew Lang
His angry grey eyes blazed at the gapers, and the crowd surged back a foot or two.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Roger recognized the silversmith's apprentice among the gapers.
"The Great Mogul" by Louis Tracy

In news:

Today on The 3@3, Chicago Sun-Times Reporter Rumanna Hussain and Gapers Block Editor Andrew Huff discuss the topics of the day with guest-host Jason Marck.
Gaper's Block writer Dyan Flores takes issue with the New York Times' look into vegetarianism in the Midwest.