\ˈlu̇k \
looked; looking; looks

Definition of look 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

3a : to exercise the power of vision upon : examine

b archaic : to search for

4a : 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

1a : 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 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



Definition of look (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of looking

b : glance

2a : 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

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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

Examples of look in a Sentence


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.


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pinfold is now the leader of an experiment looking for theoretical particles with single magnetic charges — a north without a south, and vice versa. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 As a bonus, check out this locket necklace, which looks like the gift Harvey gives Sabrina in the first ep! Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "5 Last-Minute "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Halloween Costumes That Are Totally Spellbinding," 30 Oct. 2018 His ability to put his hand on the back of an offensive lineman while waiting for the hole to open — much like a child sticking close to a parent in a crowded store — helps him make the remarkably difficult at times look remarkably easy. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018," 14 Nov. 2018 The improved circulation means more nutrients and oxygen reach your tissues, and your skin looks all the more radiant because of it. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Received an Infrared Sauna for Her Birthday," 13 Nov. 2018 Most of them are from photos where Jonas just looks hot AF. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Flirty Instagram Activity: A Complete History," 13 Nov. 2018 And in Ace's usual cheeky style, the sale code is 404ERROR and the sale page looks like it's been pulled straight from the early Internet—but don't worry, this deal is no accident. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Stay at Any Ace Hotel for 20 Percent Off Right Now," 13 Nov. 2018 Some of those games came to consoles as well, and Microsoft’s undoubtedly looking to bolster its Xbox lineup with InXile and Obsidian titles. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Microsoft acquires CRPG heavyweights Obsidian and InXile," 10 Nov. 2018 If this tiny house looks vaguely familiar to you, there’s a reason. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ultra-stylish tiny house comes with fold-down deck," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Google critics like Yelp have been pressing American regulators to take a closer look at these issues. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google CEO Sundar Pichai will face lawmakers at a hearing next week," 28 Nov. 2018 That rankled some at NASA’s highest levels and prompted the agency to take a close look at the culture of the companies, the people said. Christian Davenport, The Seattle Times, "NASA to launch safety review of SpaceX and Boeing," 20 Nov. 2018 In this piece, Jeff Benjamin takes a look at how BTS's Burn the Stage: The Movie puts a spotlight on the group's connection with fans through music. Jeff Benjamin, Teen Vogue, "BTS's Movie "Burn the Stage" Shows the Group's Unwavering Dedication to Their Music," 20 Nov. 2018 WSJ’s Spencer Jakab takes a look at how Apple got here. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple Suppliers Suffer as It Struggles to Forecast iPhone Demand," 19 Nov. 2018 In any case, Dr. Curdle Jr. takes a look at the symbols on Dilton’s back and concludes that this cult is very, very, very bad news. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "What The Hell Is Going on With the Cult on Riverdale?," 18 Oct. 2018 If constantly feeling cold is new, take a look at your medicine cabinet. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Why Am I Always Cold?," 16 Oct. 2018 Take a look through your recycle bin — bottle caps, jar lids and other plastic containers make great dashboard dials, buttons and knobs. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "4 Great Halloween Costumes From the PM Archives," 11 Oct. 2018 Take a look at your Top 50 Hotels and Top 50 Resorts in the World. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Do the Readers' Choice Awards Work?," 9 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of look


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


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

History and Etymology for look


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


see look entry 1

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Learn More about look

Statistics for look

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for look

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

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More Definitions for look



English Language Learners Definition of look

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to direct your eyes in a particular direction

: to seem to be something especially because of appearance

: to have an appearance that is suitable for (something)



English Language Learners Definition of look (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of looking at something

: the act of examining or considering something

: the act of trying to find something or someone


\ˈlu̇k \
looked; looking

Kids Definition of look

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to use the power of vision : see Look before you cross.

2 : to direct the attention or eyes Look in the mirror. Look at the map.

3 : seem sense 1 That looks dangerous.

4 : to have an appearance that is suitable He looks his age.

5 : face entry 2 sense 1 The house looks east.

look after

: to take care of Look after the children.

look down on

: to regard as bad or inferior

look out

: to be careful

look up

1 : to search for in a reference book Look it up in the dictionary.

2 : to get better Your chances are looking up.

look up to



Kids Definition of look (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of looking We took a look around.

2 : the expression on a person's face or in a person's eyes The child had a mischievous look.

3 looks plural : physical appearance good looks

4 : appearance that suggests what something is or means The cloth has a look of leather.

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More from Merriam-Webster on look

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for look

Spanish Central: Translation of look

Nglish: Translation of look for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of look for Arabic Speakers

Comments on look

What made you want to look up look? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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