\ 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 several new tests look for SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus, in saliva, and the new work finds a striking correlation between high virus levels there and later hospitalization or death. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Saliva could hold clues to how sick you will get from COVID-19," 13 Jan. 2021 At least 160 divers were deployed Tuesday in the waters around Jakarta to look for wreckage, in addition to the more than 3,600 rescue personnel, 13 helicopters, and 74 marine vessels aiding the recovery efforts. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Divers recover flight data recorder from crashed Indonesian passenger plane," 12 Jan. 2021 But such methods could only corroborate that animals moved wherever scientists thought to look for them. New York Times, "Skip to site index," 12 Jan. 2021 Westhoff and McCormick have been able to stay in the Noe Valley apartment for the time being and continue to look for a new place. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "Scam artists are using San Francisco’s coronavirus safety rules to trick renters looking for a good deal," 12 Jan. 2021 In contrast, coaches give pep talks and look for opportunities to recognize employees for strong performance and extra effort. Anchorage Daily News, "If you want to be a better supervisor, think like a coach," 12 Jan. 2021 Google Maps installed, for example, look for the Directions widget under the Maps on the widget list. David Nield, Popular Science, "Your phone’s home screen can hold more than just apps. Here’s what else you should add.," 11 Jan. 2021 Because the mutations affect the part of the virus's genetic material that these tests look for, the tests could end up giving a false negative result, meaning the results are negative but an infection is present. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "The New U.K. Variant May Cause False Negatives on Some COVID-19 Tests, FDA Warns," 11 Jan. 2021 Millennials, in particular, spend lavishly on their pets and look for pet products with human-grade ingredients, Ben & Jerry's said. Dee-ann Durbin, USA TODAY, "Ben & Jerry's enters pet food business with Doggie Desserts, a line of frozen dog treats," 11 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For a more in-depth look, check out our guide to the best cheap phones. Adrienne So, Wired, "The 15 Best Devices From CES That You Can Buy Now," 14 Jan. 2021 The Proud Boys participated in last week’s protests, and FBI agents are taking a close look at what roles, if any, their adherents may have had in organizing, directing or carrying out violence, according to people familiar with the matter. Anchorage Daily News, "Dozens of people on FBI terrorist watch list came to D.C. the day of Capitol riot," 14 Jan. 2021 Carlson declared that Trump should be impeached, and shot her friend a surprised look when McClure disagreed. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, "Minnesotans clash over President Donald Trump's second impeachment," 13 Jan. 2021 While not visible in the TV footage of the House chamber, members of the National Guard were everywhere in the Capitol making the building look like the front lines of a civil war in a beleaguered fledgling democracy. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Impeaching Trump Is a Pyrrhic Victory," 13 Jan. 2021 Here’s a look back at the 15 times the No. 1 seed has lost in the divisional playoffs. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Can the Browns beat the Chiefs? No. 1 seeds have lost 30% of playoff games after a bye week since 1995," 13 Jan. 2021 For Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans, WandaVision offers a deeper look at the relationship between Avengers Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Andrea Cuttler, Harper's BAZAAR, "Teyonah Parris Went From Juilliard To Making Marvel Movie History," 12 Jan. 2021 This year’s 18th annual ceremony took on a different look. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Cam Neely salutes Bruins-MIAA Sportsmanship recipients in a virtual ceremony," 12 Jan. 2021 This French documentary is a pretty straightforward and upbeat look at the Spurs star’s life and career. Jim Kiest, ExpressNews.com, "Watch Tony Parker documentary “The Final Shot” at home on Netflix," 12 Jan. 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

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Look.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/look. Accessed 23 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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Comments on look

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