\ 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 Horses look at humans with the distrust of a predator due to the appearance of our forward-facing eyes, Jackie says, something the animal can detect even from a great distance. Sunset Magazine, "Once a ‘Total Valley Girl,’ She’s Now Saving Wild Mustangs on a Montana Ranch," 4 Jan. 2021 Re-creating the period look provided its challenges, from finding just the right rooftop to building sets from the ground up, such as the television studio where Sylvie eventually works or her suburban home. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, "‘You’ve got romance’: On creating the classical backlot style of ‘Sylvie’s Love’," 4 Jan. 2021 The company wanted to give craft beer drinkers something to look forward to this winter, Shalyn Getz, marketing and operations director for the brewing company, said. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Eastern Market Brewing Co. launches 2-month, 50% off 'Apres Ski' event on New Year’s Day," 1 Jan. 2021 So what would proportional representation look like in practice? Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How to Fix the House of Representatives," 31 Dec. 2020 Alongside wedding planning in the new year, Liotta has another project to look forward to. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, "Ray Liotta Reveals He's Engaged to Jacy Nittolo: 'Christmas Wishes Do Come True'," 30 Dec. 2020 Until then, the best that most people can look forward to is putting 2020 behind them. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "How the coronavirus pandemic is changing New Year's Eve celebrations across the world," 29 Dec. 2020 However, cold snaps definitely encourage daylight movement by bucks, which is probably why hunters look forward to taking some of the best bucks each year in the weeks after New Year. Frank Sargeant, al, "Harvest a New Year Buck," 27 Dec. 2020 There’s plenty of sports to look forward to on Christmas Day, including an NFL game and five NBA matchups. Editors, USA TODAY, "Christmas, coronavirus pandemic, 'Wonder Woman 1984': 5 things to know Friday," 25 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here’s a look at 25 coaches (in alphabetical order) regarded by many around the league as the leading candidates for head coaching consideration this offseason. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: 25 names you could hear as the NFL head coaching rumor mill cranks up next week," 1 Jan. 2021 Here’s a look at where each starter was rated on Signing Day. Stephen Means, cleveland, "How does Ohio State football’s 2020 roster stack up against Clemson in recruiting talent? Sugar Bowl 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 Here’s a look at what’s being written out there a day before the Crimson Tide and Irish kick off in Arlington, Texas. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "What they’re saying nationally before Alabama-Notre Dame Rose Bowl," 31 Dec. 2020 Here’s a look at how the Christmas tree evolved into a modern icon—and inspired new customs along the way. Travel, "Why do we have Christmas trees? The surprising history behind this holiday tradition.," 30 Dec. 2020 Here’s a first look at the artists and their projects. New York Times, "Let There Be Light, and Art, in the Moynihan Train Hall," 30 Dec. 2020 So for The Spin’s final edition of 2020, here’s a look at some of the big events in politics that likely will spill into 2021. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Pandemic, politicians make Jan. 1 reset difficult | An ‘inflection point’ for police reform? | Illinois’ minimum wage goes up $1 next month," 30 Dec. 2020 Here’s a look at how each of the Dallas-area regional finalists did in the regular season, including their district seeding. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "How Mansfield Summit took advantage of unique circumstances, sparked its deepest playoff run in school history," 30 Dec. 2020 Here’s a look back at some headlines from an eventful 12 months. Science Careers Staff, Science | AAAS, "For those pursuing scientific careers, 2020 brought plenty of challenges," 29 Dec. 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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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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