\ 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 Wagner doesn’t necessarily look like a kid who’s a borderline top 100 recruit as a lineman. Stephen Means, cleveland, "How Aamil Wagner’s selfless attitude made him a player ‘too good’ to not have an Ohio State football offer: Buckeyes Recruiting," 22 Apr. 2021 But don’t look at this high first-dose effectiveness rate as a reason not to get a second dose. Lois K. Solomon, sun-sentinel.com, "Answers to your vaccine questions: Do I need a negative COVID test to re-enter the U.S.?," 22 Apr. 2021 At this time, the storm does not look that organized, but rain amounts overnight could total one-half to one inch in most areas. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Gusty winds chill Earth Day before a milder weekend with Saturday night rain," 22 Apr. 2021 But in my experience, analysts often see only what is on paper and don’t look at historic data and industry trends with an entrepreneur mindset. Charles Carey, Forbes, "Seven Components Of The 'New Capital Stack' In Lending," 21 Apr. 2021 For those in the market, routine tasks such as buying life insurance or receiving financial advice probably won't look the same as in the pre-pandemic days. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "What will ‘chapter 2 of the digital economy’ look like? Here’s what these finance execs think," 21 Apr. 2021 Ready or not, the camera has pulled in tight for our close-up, and the picture doesn't look very nice. David Grant, Star Tribune, "What 'Minnesota Nice' sweeps under the rug," 20 Apr. 2021 Ingenuity doesn’t look like any helicopter on Earth. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Ingenuity, NASA’s helicopter that could, soars over Mars," 19 Apr. 2021 Current conditions also do not look promising for the kind of above-average runoff that is needed this year to begin to refill the river's key reservoirs. Drew Kann, CNN, "As a megadrought persists, new projections show a key Colorado River reservoir could sink to a record low later this year," 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Grand Hall’s look also is inspired by designers’ desire to establish an at-sea, according to a video released by Disney. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney Wish: Cruise line shows off decor of next ship, Cinderella statue," 23 Apr. 2021 Sorkin’s look at the anti-Vietnam protestors reflects modern unrest that could inspire voters. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Oscars 2021: Win your pool with these predictions," 23 Apr. 2021 It’s never an easy task, but here’s a look at 10 teams and 10 positions — including five quarterbacks — to watch this spring and upcoming fall. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Spring TXHSFB primer: Top 2021 storylines, potential replacements for 10 area stars, plus notable game dates," 23 Apr. 2021 They are stuck trying to stop a 7-foot, 280-pound, old-school center with the touch, first step and instincts of a modern guard, and putting him on the line is often the only way to prevent him from a clean look at the basket. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Wilt Chamberlain Couldn’t Make Free Throws. Joel Embiid Can.," 23 Apr. 2021 Here’s the latest on what’s happening with the coronavirus, plus ways to spend your weekend and a look at some of the week’s best stories. Melody Petersen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: J&J vaccine pause lifted," 23 Apr. 2021 With the draft kicking off Thursday night, here’s a look at the prospects the Ravens have been predicted to select in the first round. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens mock draft roundup: A popular wide receiver fades as edge rushers emerge at No. 27," 23 Apr. 2021 Quick shout out to Daniel Day-Lewis (front row, furthest right) for turning a look for the Oscars Luncheon. Zach Schonfeld, Vulture, "Smile! A Complete History of the Oscar Class Photo," 23 Apr. 2021 Youngsters at a local after-school program received a firsthand look Wednesday at a Navy parachuting team’s mission from San Diego, more than 1,200 miles away. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Navy Week in San Antonio aims to strengthen ties to young people, community," 22 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

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 7 May. 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

Comments on look

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