\ 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

Mueller was tasked with looking into whether there was coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia — and any related issues. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Believe it or not, President Trump has been in Europe a little over 72 hours," 13 July 2018 Consider looking into content for the coming school year grade level. Christine Paik, Pomerado News, "Tips to avoid summer 'brain drain'," 12 July 2018 One explanation may be that the chocolate factory didn’t look like a typical historic building. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "A tale of two historic Philadelphia buildings: One rises from the ashes. The other falls to the wrecking ball.," 12 July 2018 The hosts back in New Zealand eventually cut the live shot short and asked the crew to look after Burr. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "World Cup reporter continued live shot after angry England fan threw beer in his face," 12 July 2018 In the meantime, with both major political parties in the U.K. in terminal disarray, its government on the verge of collapse, and its relationship with Europe tainted, that Russian money is looking ever more well-spent. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "The Brexit Crisis Finally Engulfs the Party That Started It," 11 July 2018 That information could be crucial as researchers look into the effectiveness of Facebook efforts to slow the spread of misinformation on its network. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Facebook opens up ‘overwhelming data set’ for election research," 11 July 2018 Courtney suggested that his office would look into tax preparation solutions and programs to help small businesses file returns because of changes with the tax bill. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Rep. Joe Courtney Talks At Chamber Breakfast," 11 July 2018 But whether Shepherd repeats as champion or not, the big picture for her continues to look bright. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The off-shoulder dress featured a wrapped bodice, floor-length pleats and a billowing cape that gave her a dramatic, yet delicate look. Fox News, "Melania Trump praised for J. Mendel gown: 'She looks like a princess'," 12 July 2018 Tours also give visitors a look at the gleaming production facility a couple streets over. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Algoma is a day trip away along Lake Michigan," 12 July 2018 Officials there promised to give him a serious look and began talking about Hardiman as a top option should the president suddenly sour on Kavanaugh. Author: Ashley Parker, Robert Costa, Anchorage Daily News, "‘All a little misdirection’: Inside Trump’s sometimes-wavering decision to nominate Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Khloé says in an Instagram video, giving fans a look inside their casual night in. Ana Calderone, PEOPLE.com, "Kourtney Kardashian Returns from Extravagant Vacation for Taco Tuesday with Khloé and Son Mason," 11 July 2018 The family of eight stars on the popular TLC show OutDaughtered, which gives an inside look into their hectic life that comes with raising quintuplets. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About the Busby Quints, the Cutest Stars of 'OutDaughtered'," 10 July 2018 The shoe is made out of a soft leather that's even more beautiful in person than online, giving it a sleek, feminine look that's perfect for pairing with dresses and skirts—not just jeans. Rebecca Shinners, Health.com, "These Millennial Pink Sneakers Are So Comfortable, I Haven’t Worn Anything Else This Summer," 9 July 2018 Instead, Nora is among a group of 40 kids ages 12 through 15 participating in the second session of the academy, which is designed to give them a look at what police, patrol officers, crime scene investigators and detectives do everyday. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "Instead of watching Netflix, KC kids dust for fingerprints at police academy," 9 July 2018 Series stars and producers give an electrifying look at season 2! Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Comic Con 2018: Here's your Saturday schedule," 7 July 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

22 Sep 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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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