\ 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 DeGallerie says tangible action, for example, could look like the board of a majority-white company stepping aside to allow new leadership to have a seat at the table. Cydney Adams, CBS News, "New documentary asks if the focus on removing statues and mascots is a distraction from true racial justice," 24 Sep. 2020 According to Hanks, that outcome didn't look likely at the beginning of filming, with Zemeckis even having to scrap the first footage while Hanks figured out how to play his now-iconic character. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Tom Hanks Says He Paid for Some Forrest Gump Scenes Himself — Including the Famous Run," 24 Sep. 2020 Of course, when judging the quality and success of a retreat, people look at the meetings themselves. Jonathan Becker, Fortune, "Can the corporate ‘offsite’ survive COVID?," 24 Sep. 2020 After an 0-2 start, the Vikings will look for their first win on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, one of the most surprising teams from last season and one that has gotten off to a 2-0 start in 2020. Star Tribune, "Vikings vs. Titans preview: TV, radio, statistics, social media, game information and more," 24 Sep. 2020 The two companies will look at adapting Spotify's library of over 250 original podcasts. Natalie Jarvey, Billboard, "Spotify Partners With Chernin Entertainment to Turn Podcasts Into Film and TV Projects," 24 Sep. 2020 Add in empty-stadium road games, and teammates look to Elliott for energy to feed off, too. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Feed Zeke? How Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott decided to turn mantra into tattoo," 24 Sep. 2020 What does onscreen intimacy look like in the age of COVID-19? Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "KJ Apa Shared a Video of How ‘Riverdale’ Stars Do Kissing Scenes During COVID-19," 24 Sep. 2020 While waiting for a pony ride, people can walk around and pet the farm animals and look at the pumpkins and other fall décor, Kelly said. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, "Patch 22 open for hay and pony rides, pumpkin sales, petting farm," 22 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His style is improvisational and captivating, a blend of dazzling dribbling displays and no-look passes that would make the Harlem Globetrotters envious. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Do LaVar Ball’s antics hurt Warriors’ chances of drafting LaMelo?," 25 Sep. 2020 Along with the name change will come a completely different look, one that calls to mind the south of France with vibrant swoops of fabric and wallpaper that evoke the sailboats, trees, and bright colors of the Mediterranean. Kate Krader, Bloomberg.com, "NYC Chef Is Taking On Sponsors to Reopen Fine Dining Restaurant," 25 Sep. 2020 Beyond subtle lines on the hood and the rear corners, the QX60 Monograph is covered in sheer surfaces devoid of many lines, giving the SUV a clean, futuristic look. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Infiniti Reveals QX60 Monograph Concept, Previewing Next-Gen SUV," 25 Sep. 2020 Expect defensive coordinator Brad White to test Auburn’s new-look offensive line early. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "3 keys for Kentucky football to pull off the upset at Auburn, plus a prediction," 25 Sep. 2020 Amazon has re-designed its popular Echo speaker line with a new, spherical, round look. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Amazon introduces 3 new Alexa Echo products," 25 Sep. 2020 Working tirelessly against the most in-form team in Europe, Sevilla had initially taken the lead after Lucas Ocampos' audacious 'no-look' penalty before Leon Goretzka leveled the scores in the second half. Ben Church, CNN, "Bayern Munich powers its way to Super Cup glory in front of 15,000 fans," 25 Sep. 2020 Throughout the episodes, the couple will work with real families looking to update their homes with a more sophisticated, personalized look. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Netflix is Launching a New Home Makeover Show Featuring Studio McGee," 24 Sep. 2020 Family projects, whether the casting of Gucci’s designers in its look book or Gabriela Hearst putting herself and her sister in hers, only add brand integrity. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "A First Look at Matthew Williams’s Debut Givenchy Campaign," 24 Sep. 2020

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

27 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for look


How to pronounce look (audio)

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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