look

1 of 2

verb

looked; looking; looks

transitive verb

1
: to make sure or take care (that something is done)
censor to look that no man lived idly Edward Gee
2
: to ascertain by the use of one's eyes
look what I brought you
3
a
: to exercise the power of vision upon : examine
b
archaic : to search for
4
a
: expect, anticipate
we look to have a good year
b
: to have in mind as an end
looking to win back some lost profits
5
archaic : to bring into a place or condition by the exercise of the power of vision
6
: to express by the eyes or facial expression
the friar looked his surprise Robert Brennan
7
: to have an appearance that befits or accords with
looks her age

intransitive verb

1
a
: to exercise the power of vision : see
b
: to direct one's attention
look upon the future with hope
look at the map
c
: to direct the eyes
looked up from the newspaper
2
: to have the appearance or likelihood of being : seem
it looks unlikely
looks to be hard work
3
: to have a specified outlook
the house looked east
4
: to gaze in wonder or surprise : stare
5
: to show a tendency
the evidence looks to acquittal

look

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: the act of looking
b
: glance
2
a
: the expression of the countenance
b
: physical appearance
especially : attractive physical appearance
usually used in plural
c
: a combination of design features giving a unified appearance
a new look in women's fashions
3
: the state or form in which something appears
Phrases
look after
: to take care of
looked after her sick mother
look at
1
: consider sense 1
looking at the possibility of relocating
2
: confront, face
looking at a mandatory fine Cindy Kilass
look down one's nose
: to view something with arrogance, disdain, or disapproval
writers who look down their noses at popular culture
look for
1
: to await with hope or anticipation
You can look for me to arrive at noon.
2
: to search for : seek
looking for a new car
look forward
: to anticipate with pleasure or satisfaction
looking forward to your visit
look into
: explore sense 1a
Investigators are looking into the cause of the accident.
look the other way
: to direct one's attention away from something unpleasant or troublesome
We can't just look the other way while these violations of human rights continue to occur.
look to
1
: to direct one's attention to
looking to the future
2
: to rely upon
looks to reading for relaxation
Choose the Right Synonym for look

expect, hope, look mean to await some occurrence or outcome.

expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning.

expects to be finished by Tuesday

hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.

hopes to find a job soon

look, with to, implies assurance that expectations will be fulfilled

looks to a tidy profit from the sale

; with for it implies less assurance and suggests an attitude of expectancy and watchfulness.

look for rain when the wind shifts to the northeast

Example Sentences

Verb He looked straight ahead and kept walking. When you take a walk, look around you. She smiled at me and then looked away. He looked back the way he had come. Look both ways before you cross the street. When I finally reached the top I was afraid to look down. She looked from one person to the next. They looked off into the distance. He was looking over his shoulder. Her new haircut makes her look young. Noun I don't think you left it here, but I'll take a look around for it. I took a quick look, but he wasn't there. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The players then look at their own cards to see which of their words seem to be connected to the first words. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 25 Nov. 2022 With stopping the run being the strength of the Michigan defense, look for Ohio State to challenge the Wolverines’ secondary and use these quick passing concepts as their primary run game. Lance Reisland, cleveland, 25 Nov. 2022 While England can move a step closer to winning Group B with a win, the U.S. will look to at least keep hopes to reach the Round 16 alive. Usa Today Sports Staff, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2022 What will his dynamic look like with the rest of the BAU? Jessica Wang, EW.com, 25 Nov. 2022 For makeup free of toxic ingredients, look no further than Saie for Black Friday deals. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 25 Nov. 2022 For example, look at the Cowboys’ dominant win over Minnesota last week. Tanner Mcgrath, Chicago Tribune, 24 Nov. 2022 Blake Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds look happy as ever while at the 36th Annual American Cinematheque Awards honoring Reynolds at The Beverly Hilton on Nov. 17. People Staff, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2022 What will wedding planning look like for Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Lucas (Chris McNally)? Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 24 Nov. 2022
Noun
Multi Cube Palette looks as delicious as Neapolitan ice cream and comes with matte and sparkly shades that'll add the perfect amount of pizzazz to any eye look. Sarah Han, Allure, 26 Nov. 2022 Martin then was sent to the line with 12.5 seconds left, converting both free throws for a 110-107 Heat lead, immediately then defending Beal from getting a clean look at a 3-pointer, as the buzzer sounded. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 26 Nov. 2022 The Chicago Bears offense figures to take on a different look if Siemian is called on to replace Justin Fields, who is questionable with a separated left shoulder suffered on a quarterback sweep near the end Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune, 26 Nov. 2022 You’d be forgiven for forgetting that Macy’s even has a furniture section, but its Cyber Monday furniture deals are more than worth a look. Jake Smith, Glamour, 26 Nov. 2022 Topcoats tend to have a bigger, softer shoulder these days and that look is accentuated by a raglan sleeve. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 26 Nov. 2022 The restaurants were given a new look, and a swimming pool, health club, and spas were created in the basement. Town & Country, 26 Nov. 2022 The chair has a timeless look that's easy to match with existing styles. Carly Kulzer, Peoplemag, 25 Nov. 2022 Otherwise, Apotheke’s candle trio can add warmth to any space, while Too Faced’s eyeshadow palette adds a pop of color to any makeup look. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 25 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'look.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English lōcian; akin to Old Saxon lōcōn to look

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of look was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near look

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

look 1 of 2

verb

1
: to exercise the power of vision : see
2
: to express by the eyes or by an expression of the face
3
a
: to have an appearance that is suitable for
looks her age
b
: seem sense 1
it looks dangerous
4
: to direct one's attention or eyes
look in the mirror
5
: point entry 2 sense 4, face
the house looks east
look after
: to attend to
look at
1
: consider sense 1
looking at the possibility of moving
2
: meet face-to-face : face
looking at detention after school
look daggers
: to look threateningly
look down on
: to treat as an inferior : disdain
look for
1
2
: to search for : seek
look forward to
: to expect with pleasure
look into
: to examine carefully
look on or look upon
1
: consider sense 3, regard
looked upon me as a friend
2
: to observe as a spectator
look out for
1
: to be on guard against
look out for cars
2
: to care for : protect
look out for our interests
look to
1
: to direct one's attention to
looking to the future
2
: to take care of
3
: to rely on
looks to reading for relaxation

look

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: the act of looking
2
a
: the expression of the face
b
: physical appearance
especially : attractive physical appearance
usually used in plural
3
: the state or form in which something appears : aspect

More from Merriam-Webster on look

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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