\ 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 But to Rinehart and the others at rehearsal, anything that allows the group to sing together again — to feel a chord lock, look around, and share it for a moment — is worth it. BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2021 Though the report did not look specifically at funding allocations in the UW System, Stein noted that discussions about changes in funding allocations would be difficult because of the limited increase in overall funding the board has to work with. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 July 2021 Detectives were on scene to look for evidence and speak to witnesses, Williams said. Amaris Encinas, The Arizona Republic, 16 July 2021 Rather than the original agenda of highways and railroads, the powers probably are looking for some regional consensus over what a final peace can look like and action from all the players to push that through. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 16 July 2021 Credit profiles of car buyers do look better today and consumers have more saved up thanks to stimulus payments and spending less during pandemic lockdowns. WSJ, 16 July 2021 Citizens can access the phone app by going to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and type in CarrollCoDTF in the search option, look for CarrollCoDTF citizen observer (Tip411), and download the app. Madison Bateman, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 16 July 2021 The best way to do this is to know what the finished jam should look and act like. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2021 The planners look at the trends and say a pullback from vulnerable areas is inevitable. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shot on 16mm film to replicate a VHS look, soundtracked to Nirvana and Nas, and peppered with cultural touchstones like Super Soakers and Ren & Stimpy, Mid90s wears its nostalgia on its sleeve. Jasmine Li, Vulture, 16 July 2021 Stivers brought a 2021 Bronco, one of the first three shipped to Alabama, and gave Woodfin a close-up look after the announcement. al, 16 July 2021 Peters got a real look and taste for the greatness in Detroit. Randy Mcroberts, baltimoresun.com, 16 July 2021 Our goal with the series was to bring Chucky's look precisely back to that. Clark Collis, EW.com, 16 July 2021 From Olivia Rodrigo to BTS, here’s a closer look at the potential record-setters. Paul Grein, Billboard, 16 July 2021 In offering up an unauthorized, bracingly unsanitized look inside the world of restaurant kitchens, Bourdain, then a 44-year-old chef at the Manhattan brasserie Les Halles, may have bitten the hand that fed him (and fed everyone). Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2021 The look Kim gave to the camera is The Office-level worthy. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, 15 July 2021 The move comes as Navy Pier and the city look for new opportunities to draw in visitors and tourists in order to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Denny Jacob, chicagotribune.com, 15 July 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

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 24 Jul. 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.

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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