\ 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 The boy held his breath to look dead so that the men would stop shooting, Sarahy said. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden expelling asylum-seeking families with young children to Tijuana after flights from Texas," 11 Apr. 2021 To Democrats, this weekend's activities in Palm Beach look a lot like sucking up to Trump. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "The 2024 Republican presidential primary comes to Trump's doorstep this weekend in Florida," 10 Apr. 2021 Peterson will look forward to sharing the victory tape with Harden to see the approving gleam in his eyes. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Mariemont lacrosse player helps raise money for ALS for longtime assistant Graham Harden," 10 Apr. 2021 But early data on applications for courses starting this autumn look positive, says Nick Hillman of the Higher Education Policy Institute, a think-tank. The Economist, "Foreign students remain remarkably keen on Britain’s universities," 10 Apr. 2021 Even Boykins' art is available to look at on her website or Twitter account for free. Michael Dobuski, ABC News, "NFTs spark debate over digital value, environmental impact," 10 Apr. 2021 The greatest of all Marvel films is also a terrific lesson in forcing us to look at the world in a different context. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "The best movies to watch with family, from 'Up' and 'Black Panther' to 'Wizard of Oz'," 10 Apr. 2021 Some analysts claim the domestic market is close to saturation, and Zoom will have to look for more opportunities in overseas markets. Beth Kindig, Forbes, "Zoom Video Stock: Will History Repeat?," 9 Apr. 2021 Whether or not Detransition, Baby takes home the award, fans of the story still have a TV series adaptation to look forward to. Jennifer Zhan, Vulture, "Torrey Peters Addresses Transphobic Backlash Over Women’s Prize Nomination," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Might something close to this be a fun look for a summer dinner party? Lois Fenton, Arkansas Online, "Less is more when it comes to accessories, contrast colors," 11 Apr. 2021 Stacy’s upcoming debut album is described as an intimate and emotional look at exploring ethnic identity. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego singer-songwriter explores ethnicity, social justice in his music," 11 Apr. 2021 But the team is bound to have a different look next season, with 11 players who have seen action this season set to become unrestricted free agents. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "Coyotes play on as playoff contenders as league trade deadline nears," 11 Apr. 2021 Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter, which gives you a close-up look at a Southern California housing market that grows hotter by the week. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Real Estate newsletter: Iconic Hearst estate hits the clearance rack," 10 Apr. 2021 While the form is as simple as can be — two seven-story rectangles with one pulled back from Telegraph to allow space for a snug outdoor lounge atop the podium — brick-like gray tiles add an old-fashioned texture to the contemporary look. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stocky modular buildings are popping up in East Bay. They look surprisingly good," 10 Apr. 2021 The plants not growing also have a yellow-green look. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Dry root balls can stall ixora growth," 10 Apr. 2021 For further help, consult a good personal finance book, the kind that will encourage a broader look at your relationship with money. Chris Farrell, Star Tribune, "Tax time can be a great time to assess state of your household finances," 10 Apr. 2021 Generally, the neighborhood billionaires are considered worth a careful look by the paper’s investigative unit. New York Times, "Why Buy a Yacht When You Can Buy a Newspaper?," 10 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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 20 Apr. 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

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