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 idlyEdward 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 surpriseRobert 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 fineCindy 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
This trend follows the footsteps of a wider effort by the Chinese government to look inwards and restore national identity through the reappraisal of tradition. Vogue, 6 Apr. 2024 Featuring a boxy, slightly oversized silhouette, this relaxed-fitting top will look great paired with anything from a maxi skirt to a simple pair of slouchy jeans. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 6 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for look 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'look.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 15 Apr. 2024.

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

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

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