\ 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 Don’t be afraid to look vulnerable in front of your consumers. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, "Seven Ways Business Leaders Can Boost Transparency With Their Customers," 4 May 2021 Centered on a bunch of space warriors who make Delta Force look like Brownies, the series works its merry way toward a cliff-hanger. Gregory Mcnamee, CNN, "Celebrate Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you," 4 May 2021 While not widely celebrated in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become a boon for Mexican eateries in the U.S. as folks look to indulge in cuisine, culture and music. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "'Chaos': How Indianapolis Mexican restaurants are gearing up for busiest day of year," 4 May 2021 Some, including activists from inside the community, are calling for the ultra-Orthodox to look at their own role. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Mexico City metro collapse, students punished with virtual classes and Rome's Colosseum makeover: Tuesday top stories," 4 May 2021 If iPhone customers don’t have a realistic option to switch platforms, then the app market starts to look like the market for Kodak repairs. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "The One Legal Question That Will Probably Decide the Epic-Apple Lawsuit," 4 May 2021 Lopez wore her signature beauty look for the performance—a brown smoky eye and a nude lip—and had her hair styled up in a bouncy ponytail. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "J.Lo Sports Three Different Fashion Looks for Her Vax Live Performance," 4 May 2021 The beast isn’t dead though, and until European soccer’s dysfunctional financial model is fixed the elite clubs will continue to look for ways to manage the pressure of winning and the desire for profit. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Soccer newsletter: European Super League fallout continues to mar landscape," 4 May 2021 However, keep in mind that rental tools are professional grade, so note which features you like and look for those in consumer options. Samantha S. Thorpe, Better Homes & Gardens, "5 Ways Renting Equipment Can Save You Time and Money on Outdoor Projects This Summer," 4 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The first thing that people noticed were the photos, which showed Eilish in 1940s pin-up styles, a departure from her usual look. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "“It’s Everywhere”: Billie Eilish Talks About How Isolating It Feels To Be Abused," 4 May 2021 Series like Dragnet, The Wire, and Watchmen have all touched on issues of police misconduct, but Line of Duty stands mostly alone in its unflinching look at widespread corruption within police departments. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "In the UK’s biggest TV drama in decades, cops are the villains," 3 May 2021 The heist is far from over as the upcoming Leverage: Redemption revival series has unveiled its first look alongside a premiere date. Dory Jackson, PEOPLE.com, "Leverage: Redemption Revival Series Unveils First Official Teaser and Premiere Details," 3 May 2021 The star, who recently shed 20 pounds and showcased her lean look for an epic Black Hollywood photo shoot, looked genuinely happy among Nash and the rest of her friends. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, "We All Need Friends To Hype Us Up Like Niecy Nash Did For BFF Sherri Shepherd At Her Birthday Party," 3 May 2021 Artist Carrie Mae Weems, known for her searing look at race and class, will display a billboard-size photograph of books on the Shed’s fourth floor, where it can be seen by people outside walking the Highline elevated path. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Frieze New York Tests Whether Collectors Will Return to Art Fairs," 2 May 2021 Her look was received well in places like London, where Moura briefly lived in 2012, but Brazilians tended to bristle at it. Jessica Chia, Allure, "5 Brazilian Influencers Who Are Changing the Country's Beauty Ideals," 29 Apr. 2021 The add-on turn signals remained, but their PepBoys look was toned-down dramatically by moving them to under the bumper. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "A Visual History of the Honda Civic," 29 Apr. 2021 Okay, just kidding, but her look was very Cher Horowitz. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Irina Shayk Goes Full Cher Horowitz in New York," 29 Apr. 2021

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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Learn More about look

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 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

Nglish: Translation of look for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of look for Arabic Speakers

Comments on look

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