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over·​look ˌō-vər-ˈlu̇k How to pronounce overlook (audio)
overlooked; overlooking; overlooks

transitive verb

: to look over : inspect
took down a map and overlooked itEileen Duggan
: to look down upon from above
do not like living near water, and prefer not to be overlookedG. W. B. Huntingford
: to rise above or afford a view of
the mountains that overlook the village
: to look past : miss
whose sharpened senses overlook nothingRichard Semon
: ignore sense 1
learned to overlook her boyfriend's minor faults
: excuse sense 2
minor misdemeanors may sometimes be overlookedPunch
: superintend, oversee
The chaperones will overlook the students' behavior on the field trip.
: to look on with the evil eye : bewitch
a baby that has been overlooked will begin to pine awayF. G. Cassidy


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over·​look ˈō-vər-ˌlu̇k How to pronounce overlook (audio)
: a place from which one may look down on a scene below
plenty of overlooks and trailsThelma H. Bell
Choose the Right Synonym for overlook

neglect, disregard, ignore, overlook, slight, forget mean to pass over without giving due attention.

neglect implies giving insufficient attention to something that merits one's attention.

habitually neglected his studies

disregard suggests voluntary inattention.

disregarded the wishes of his family

ignore implies a failure to regard something obvious.

ignored the snide remark

overlook suggests disregarding or ignoring through haste or lack of care.

in my rush I overlooked a key example

slight implies contemptuous or disdainful disregarding or omitting.

slighted several major authors in her survey

forget may suggest either a willful ignoring or a failure to impress something on one's mind.

forget what others say

Examples of overlook in a Sentence

Verb The detective overlooked an important clue. Such a crime should not be overlooked. The quarterback was overlooked by other teams. the mountains that overlook the village We rented a suite that overlooks the lake. Noun just down the road there's a great overlook where you can get a panoramic view of the valley below See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Flawed communication comes into play, and the members may prioritize immediate tasks and overlook longer-term problems. Ilia Kiselevich, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The Kings Mountain hiking trail known as Cardio Hill overlooks a pit full of rainwater the size of a lake, but the craggy terrain situated about 30 miles west of Charlotte is now one of the most precious pieces of real estate in the United States. Alan Rappeport, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 The beach resort also hosts a Malibu Farm restaurant overlooking the beach and lagoon pools that delivers to the tables, as well as lounge chairs on the sand. Melinda Fulmer, Robb Report, 30 Nov. 2023 Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. Sushmita Pathak, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Nov. 2023 One often overlooked problem in fitting renewable energy into existing grids involves the presumption of balanced power flow. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Nov. 2023 For lovers, there are headboards covered in velvet and suites with terraces overlooking the ocean, while for those mourning the end of an affair, there are always those bathtubs. Elizabeth Nicholas, Vogue, 29 Nov. 2023 But most economists overlook the fact that dollarization, for the most part, is nothing more than a change in a country’s unit of account, accomplished at the stroke of a pen as obligations are redenominated. Matt Sekerke, National Review, 29 Nov. 2023 The weekend will culminate with the main event on Saturday at 10 p.m. During the main event, Shaquille O’Neal and David Beckham will host a grand prix party that will overlook the circuit at Club SI. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023
The climb is punctuated with beautiful overlooks, providing hikers with an excuse to take a break, have a snack, and enjoy the views. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 18 Nov. 2023 There's lots of easy to challenging hikes here, including the .5-mile Twin Falls Nature Trail, which takes you by a scenic overlook to the falls, and the 6-mile Wolf Mountain Trail winds around Tobacco and Wolf mountains and by canyons and beautiful pools. Amanda Ogle, Southern Living, 10 Oct. 2023 The post included a photo of several people standing just feet away from a young bear leaning against the inner side of a guardrail at the overlook. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 1 Nov. 2023 There are plenty of swimming areas and scenic overlooks throughout this location. Ashlyn Messier, Fox News, 25 Oct. 2023 Rescuers were able to locate Sampson's body about 150 feet below the overlook. Stephen Smith, CBS News, 25 Sep. 2023 Be sure to take a break at the overlook and enjoy the views of the city, along with views of Aspen, Bell, and Red Mountains in the distance. By sunset, Sunset Magazine, 21 Sep. 2023 Besides the Skywalk, Grand Canyon West has canyon overlooks, hiking trails at Hualapai Point and Guano Point, rafting along the Colorado River, helicopter and pontoon boat tours, Native American cultural experiences and a zipline. Michael Salerno, USA TODAY, 16 July 2023 Khan and her allies have argued, by contrast, that an excessive focus on price overlooks how companies might harm competition in less obvious ways, affecting everything from labor markets to product quality to consumer privacy. Brian Fung, CNN, 16 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overlook.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1861, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overlook was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near overlook

Cite this Entry

“Overlook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlook. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to look over : inspect
: to look down upon from above
: to provide a view of from above
the mountain overlooks a lake
: to fail to see : miss
: to pay no attention to : ignore
overlook a beginner's mistakes

More from Merriam-Webster on overlook

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