\ ˈlu̇k How to pronounce look (audio) \
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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But others look to an insurer to protect them from default, or take out specialist loans backed by the invoices. The Economist, "Collateral damage Trade finance stumbles into the digital era," 4 July 2020 In a side-by-side photo released by Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company, the studios producing the film, Warner and Levi do look a lot alike. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Here's who will play former Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner in upcoming film," 2 July 2020 Matthews will look to keep the baseball tradition going at Atascocita by becoming the next Eagle drafted in the major leagues. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Baseball: Atascocita’s Brice Matthews ready for next journey at Nebraska," 2 July 2020 But not all districts and schools will look the same, with online or in-person learning dependent on local COVID-19 case counts, space constraints, labor contracts, finances and other criteria. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "How will Bay Area classrooms work in the fall? Teachers imagine the future of school," 2 July 2020 Michiganders can look forward to a sunny and hot Fourth of July weekend. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "July 4 weekend guide: Expect lower gas prices, hot weather, some fireworks," 2 July 2020 Just look at the jobs numbers in May, when there were still widespread shutdowns. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "Bracing for a second shutdown," 2 July 2020 Typically a day of fireworks, parades and other community events, celebrating the Fourth of July will look different this year as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Asha Prihar, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Small parties aren't necessarily safe, and other things to know about celebrating July Fourth during a pandemic," 2 July 2020 In the early stages, AC might just look and feel like very chapped lips. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "Sunburned Lips: The Best Ways to Soothe and Heal Them, According to Dermatologists," 2 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Take a look at three of her gems and watch the video above to hear the rest, ladies! Charli Penn, Essence, "5 Love and Friendship Commandments To Live By," 2 July 2020 Take a look at the festive homes in the photo gallery above. John Kuntz, cleveland, "Fourth of July house decorating contest in Fairport Harbor replaces canceled Mardi Gras event (photos)," 2 July 2020 But as businesses take a hard look at their practices in the wake of Floyd's killing, some bank leaders admit more work needs to be done to overcome mistrust with minorities. Faith Karimi, CNN, "A 911 call, a racial slur, a refusal to cash a check. This is what it's like for some Black bank customers," 2 July 2020 Allan said that astronomers will soon deploy the Hubble space telescope, one of humankind’s finest eyes on the sky, to take a look. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "A Massive Star Seems to Have Just … Disappeared," 1 July 2020 And take a look at Shawn Tully’s piece on what basic math says about what shareholders can expect from Apple in the years ahead. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Purpose in a crisis is driving these companies," 1 July 2020 Our reporters take a look at different elements of how life has changed and what to expect. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Are we already in a second wave?," 26 June 2020 People should take a look at how the background appears on the screen. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Protocol chief’s rules for Zoom nation," 24 June 2020 After Plymouth submitted the petition for upgrade safety devices at five of the six crossings, the state railroad commission sent Carol Brockman, a rail safety analyst, out last summer to take another look at the crossings. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin saved Plymouth’s rail line, but drivers at risk because of inadequate safety measures," 19 June 2020

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

Verb and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for look

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for look

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for look


How to pronounce look (audio)

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 How to pronounce look (audio) \
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

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