\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are still years’ worth of untouched observations to look forward to as the mission continues, and astronomers know it. Sasha Warren, Scientific American, 22 June 2022 Zyrann has much to look forward to, but challenges remain. courier-journal.com, 22 June 2022 Just look how cute Stitch comes off in the sequin suit! Christian Holub, EW.com, 21 June 2022 Hitting a milestone age is a perfect time to look forward — and, sometimes wistfully, back. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, 21 June 2022 Just look at those sideburns -- and all that leather... Andrew Torgan, CNN, 19 June 2022 Other iOS 16 features to look forward to, meanwhile, include a new notification design. Andy Meek, BGR, 18 June 2022 The sisters look forward to reading with the children once COVID-19 restrictions are loosened. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 18 June 2022 Just look back to Magic Johnson in a fur jacket in 1988 or Dennis Rodman’s entire headline-making career as proof. Max Berlinger, Town & Country, 17 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Acielle Tanbetova is backstage at the Paris spring 2023 menswear shows to get a first look at all of the accessory, beauty, and clothing trends at Givenchy, Y/Project, Dior Mens, Rick Owens, and more. Acielle / Style Du Monde, Vogue, 22 June 2022 Higher Ground — Barack and Michelle Obama's production company — signed an exclusive multi-year first-look production deal with Audible, Amazon's audiobook and podcast service. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 22 June 2022 The deal follows Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer’s New Republic Pictures signing a first-look deal for film and TV with the Jude Law- and Ben Jackson-run banner. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 June 2022 Billy Porter has signed a first look deal with FX Productions to develop new content through his production company Incognegro with his producing partner D.J. Gugenheim. Selome Hailu, Variety, 22 June 2022 As a result of the deal, Audible will have exclusive first-look rights to all podcasts created by Higher Ground, the production company that the Obamas created in 2018. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, 21 June 2022 Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, has signed an exclusive, multiyear, worldwide first-look deal with Amazon subsidiary Audible, the audio content company announced Tuesday. Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 But the first serious look at the Australian language, by Sidney Baker, a New Zealander, came out in 1945. New York Times, 19 June 2022 Edwards shared a series of photos of the romantic beach proposal — and a first look at her engagement ring — on Instagram. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, 18 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About look

Time Traveler for look

Time Traveler

The first known use of look was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near look



look a fright

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Statistics for look

Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for look


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on look

Nglish: Translation of look for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of look for Arabic Speakers


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