\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

His ability to put his hand on the back of an offensive lineman while waiting for the hole to open — much like a child sticking close to a parent in a crowded store — helps him make the remarkably difficult at times look remarkably easy. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018," 14 Nov. 2018 The improved circulation means more nutrients and oxygen reach your tissues, and your skin looks all the more radiant because of it. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Received an Infrared Sauna for Her Birthday," 13 Nov. 2018 Most of them are from photos where Jonas just looks hot AF. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Flirty Instagram Activity: A Complete History," 13 Nov. 2018 And in Ace's usual cheeky style, the sale code is 404ERROR and the sale page looks like it's been pulled straight from the early Internet—but don't worry, this deal is no accident. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Stay at Any Ace Hotel for 20 Percent Off Right Now," 13 Nov. 2018 Some of those games came to consoles as well, and Microsoft’s undoubtedly looking to bolster its Xbox lineup with InXile and Obsidian titles. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Microsoft acquires CRPG heavyweights Obsidian and InXile," 10 Nov. 2018 If this tiny house looks vaguely familiar to you, there’s a reason. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ultra-stylish tiny house comes with fold-down deck," 9 Nov. 2018 Over the last several decades space exploration has been focused on looking outward to the edge of the solar system and beyond. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Probe Gets Closer to Sun Than Any Human-Made Object in History," 30 Oct. 2018 Jonathan does indeed have a collection of Jonathan dolls at home, some which look nothing like him. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Is The Weirdest Thing Jonathan Scott Has In His Home (And Office)," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are flowers, too: display after display of cannabis strains, each in their own glass box, some of the cases filled with fake flowers, others going for a more minimalist look. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Weed and luxury in Las Vegas," 15 Nov. 2018 Always one for details, Cardi finished off the look with a silver manicure. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Wore Silver Hair and Sunset-Colored Makeup," 14 Nov. 2018 Markle completed the casual-chic look with a plaid trench by Karen Walker and a pair of her signature Sarah Flint pumps. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Wore a $60 ASOS Maternity Dress for Her Latest Royal Tour Stop," 28 Oct. 2018 Bottom line: For a custom-design look, don’t overlook the importance of ordering the correct number of faucet holes needed for your perfect kitchen sink and faucet combo. Ed Del Grande, The Seattle Times, "Be sure your new kitchen sink and faucet work together," 22 Oct. 2018 Meghan, always stylish even in what's essentially a uniform, paired the black Invictus polo with a pair of Mother Denim black jeans and dressed up the look with an Altuzarra Studio Acacia white blazer on top. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Wore Matching Shirts to the Invictus Games Kickoff," 20 Oct. 2018 Rih finishes the look with the No Chill shade from her Metal Lip Set, a metallic purple that compliments her lavender lids perfectly. Zoë Weiner, Allure, "Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Holiday Makeup Tutorial Shows You How to Use Highlighter All Over Your Face," 18 Oct. 2018 Just as invariably, people thought maybe, just maybe, Harvard and other elite schools are long overdue for a hard look in the mirror. Michael Li, Vox, "I support affirmative action. But Harvard really is hurting Asian Americans.," 18 Oct. 2018 Pick your favorite bright colors and spray paint skeleton decorations for this look. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "20 Halloween Party Ideas So Sophisticated They’ll Scare You," 18 Oct. 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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Learn More about look

Statistics for look

Last Updated

17 Nov 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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by force of circumstances

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