\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

When Melvin Townes looks in the mirror, his eyes jump to the small scar just below his left eye. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "'I only ever wanted justice,' says 18-year-old allegedly assaulted by Baltimore officer," 14 July 2018 During springtime, frozen carbon dioxide trapped below the ice cap turns from a solid state into a gas, forming features that from above look like dark spiders. Shannon Stirone, WIRED, "Space Photos of the Week: Mars Has Spiders in the Springtime," 14 July 2018 Another shows Hailey hugging Justin, looking wistfully over his shoulder. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Posted and Deleted Instagrams of Hailey Baldwin in a Hot Tub," 14 July 2018 The Kate Middleton who gives gentle shushes to her perfectly poised children at weddings while looking . . . Elise Taylor, Vogue, "A Photographic Ode to Kate Middleton’s Absolute Jubilation at Wimbledon," 14 July 2018 Anderson, who outlasted John Isner in the longest match ever played on Centre Court, is looking to win his first Grand Slam title. Sam Farmer, courant.com, "Djokovic Wins Another Marathon, Defeating Nadal In Wimbledon Semifinal," 14 July 2018 Their bellies can range from yellow to brown to orange, but many species otherwise look quite similar. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Two New Yellow-Bellied Bats May Have Been Found in Kenya," 13 July 2018 Young soccer enthusiasts looking to fine tune or improve their game can do so at the Mandel Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches' Palm Beach Gardens location. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Soccer clinics at area JCC focus on skills, sportsmanship," 13 July 2018 There was a great deal of interest to see what does an open-wheeled car race look like in New York City? Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "6 things to know about Formula E's championship race in New York," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Take a look at the Jason Wyatt Frederick illustration on the cover of next week's Reader, our annual Pitchfork preview. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Free Shit / Music Guess who’s on our cover for a chance to win passes to the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival," 13 July 2018 As the Bears prepare to report July 19 for training camp at Olivet Nazarene in Bourbonnais, the Tribune is taking a look at each position group. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "Bears safeties Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos look to reach next level in 2nd year together," 13 July 2018 For more information on rides, including carnival hours, pricing and restrictions, take a look at the official ride section of the State Fair website. Daniel Wilson, sacbee, "What’s new at the California State Fair? Here’s everything you need to know," 13 July 2018 Take a look at some would-be criminals who could have used a practice run or two. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "He wore underwear for the break-in — but not in the right place, video shows," 12 July 2018 Take another look at notable crashes, weird incidents and unusual sights along the road. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Traffic: No crashes reported early Thursday," 12 July 2018 For example, take a look at this photographic evidence that shows Hailey holding an issue of M magazine that features Jelena on the cover. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Was A Massive Jelena Shipper Before She Got Engaged to Justin Bieber," 10 July 2018 In honor of that small probability, Free Press sports writer Ryan Ford takes a look at some of the NBA’s surprise title teams over the past 50 seasons. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "NBA superteams haven't won all the championships: 5 surprise winners," 9 July 2018 Take a look at some of the best posts of this week below. Chicagonow Staff, RedEye Chicago, "This week in Chicago arts, food and drink via ChicagoNow," 9 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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Statistics for look

Last Updated

6 Oct 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

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