\ 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 Doctors and patients should look to osteoporosis medication or other interventions that increase bone density, Cawthon said. Elissa Welle, STAT, 28 July 2022 Now, as states look to demand response technology to shore up regional power grids, activists on the right are targeting that. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 Ben Rhodes is the defending Truck Series champion and will look to have a strong start to his playoff campaign. Rob Peeters, The Indianapolis Star, 27 July 2022 Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders have asked the Justice Department to look closely at any potential sale of baby-food brands to a buyout firm. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 27 July 2022 To think Lace is still out here helping look at practice with us. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 In 2021, Eagle River topped South 1-0 in the championship and will look to defend its title Tuesday against Service at 5:30 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 26 July 2022 The roof-rack crossbars are designed to look like the Union Jack flag, and the roof itself and some interior details are dressed in British Racing Green. Sasha Richie, Car and Driver, 26 July 2022 In addition to their look-alike status, Prince William is already teaching his eldest son (who is third in the line of succession to the throne after him) about royal life. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 26 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In June, Timberlake and Biel stepped out for Paris Men's Fashion Week, serving a bold couple's look during the shows for Dior Homme and Louis Vuitton, as well as some casual outings in the French capital. Tommy Mcardle, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2022 So take a look below and see where your friends (or you for that matter) fit on the spectrum of L.A. friendships. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2022 Seasonal decor refreshes your home's look every few months without much effort or expense. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 July 2022 Dress it up with macrame for an on-trend, boho chic look. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, 27 July 2022 Reference 6234 has more of that wartime look but by the time the ref. Oren Hartov, Robb Report, 27 July 2022 Those looking to complete the designer look can kit out their home with a fresh line of Gucci decor offerings, from chairs and blankets to candles and cushions. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 27 July 2022 Fans of the prestige indie film studio caught a look at Brendan Fraser playing a man affected by obesity in the Darren Aronofsky movie The Whale. Nick Romano, EW.com, 27 July 2022 The trailer for director Brett Morgen’s upcoming David Bowie biopic, Moonage Daydream, promises a technicolor, career-spanning look at the life of the late rock and roll space man. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 27 July 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

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for look

Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!