\ 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


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

Step 2: Sweet tea ferments in tanks with 2,000 gallons of symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, known as SCOBY, which looks like a giant phlegm Frisbee. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make Gasoline From Tea," 15 May 2019 The company’s engineers are developing complex machine-learning models that can look at a product category, such as home décor, and automatically assign it a specific style, such as modern or country manor. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Etsy Taps Google Cloud to Improve Search, Juicing Sales," 13 May 2019 Her latest nail look is a jade marble mani that looks like it's inspired by the kitchen island in the suburban home of your fanciest friend — the house that was always stocked with the best snacks. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Rihanna's Jade Manicure Is a New Take on the Marble Nail Trend," 10 May 2019 There's a dragon lady also walking around Winterfell right now with eyes that look green in a certain light... Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Daenerys' Maybe-Green Eyes on Game of Thrones Could Be Key to Her Fate," 2 May 2019 Ahead of the show, the couples walked the red carpet, posed for pictures, and generally looked as stunning and in love as possible. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Watch Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner, and Danielle Jonas Dance to the Jonas Brothers at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards," 2 May 2019 When asked about her career-defining moment, MacGraw throws it back to her time as a model, when her girl next door look helped to push a bare-faced and low-maintenance beauty standard. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chanel Taps Ali MacGraw as the Face of Its New Watch Campaign," 30 Apr. 2019 But China’s appetite for further easing looks diminished, with the central bank last week insisting... Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Stimulus-Driven Rally in Chinese Stocks Is Running Out of Steam," 30 Apr. 2019 Even if the surface looks clean, invisible layers of grease can build up and burn on over time, making them harder to remove. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean A Glass Cooktop so it Looks Brand New Again," 30 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here's a look at what some people on Twitter have done. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "People on Twitter Are “Fixing” Their James Charles Palettes and It’s Brutal," 15 May 2019 The overall look is a big step up from the current Golf. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Volkswagen Golf Mark 8 Is Getting a Radical Interior Redesign," 15 May 2019 Here's a look back at the moments that led up to the theory. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Every Clue That Daenerys Targaryen Was Always Destined to Become the Mad Queen in 'Game of Thrones'," 13 May 2019 The look is slightly more formal than the versions that Harry's older brother Prince William has worn in the past to the public debuts of his three children. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Wore a J. Crew Suit to Baby Archie's Royal Debut," 9 May 2019 The look was nearly a carbon copy of what Princess Diana wore for Prince Harry's debut and drew instant comparisons. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle's Maternity Dress Is Totally Different Than Princess Diana's," 8 May 2019 Take an inside look at this truly inspiring and unforgettable evening for a cause near and dear to our hearts. Woman's Day, "A Look Inside the 2019 Woman's Day Red Dress Awards," 7 May 2019 Before the the big day, here's a look back at the couple's relationship. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Couple Jamie Reagan and Eddie Janko Have Had Such a Dramatic Relationship," 27 Apr. 2019 The look is her signature, underplayed but impactful. Stellene Volandes, ELLE Decor, "Jeweler Antonia Miletto Leads a Fairy-Tale Existence in Her 16th-Century Townhouse in Venice," 17 Apr. 2019

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

Statistics for look

Last Updated

19 May 2019

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 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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