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

Definition of overlook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to look over : inspect took down a map and overlooked it— Eileen Duggan
2a : to look down upon from above do not like living near water, and prefer not to be overlooked— G. W. B. Huntingford
b : to rise above or afford a view of the mountains that overlook the village
3a : to look past : miss whose sharpened senses overlook nothing— Richard Semon
b : ignore sense 1 learned to overlook her boyfriend's minor faults
c : excuse sense 2 minor misdemeanors may sometimes be overlookedPunch
4 : superintend, oversee The chaperones will overlook the students' behavior on the field trip.
5 : to look on with the evil eye : bewitch a baby that has been overlooked will begin to pine away— F. G. Cassidy


over·​look | \ ˈō-vər-ˌlu̇k How to pronounce overlook (audio) \

Definition of overlook (Entry 2 of 2)

: a place from which one may look down on a scene below plenty of overlooks and trails— Thelma H. Bell

Synonyms for overlook

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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: Verb In almost every space, floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the surrounding canyons. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 The residences overlook the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament, while landmarks like Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Lambeth Palace are just a stone’s throw away. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 12 Apr. 2022 Its 38 stories overlook the Uptown and Galleria neighborhoods (plus offer helicopter access), yet offer what feels like a retreat from the bustling city. Rebecca Treon, Chron, 25 Mar. 2022 Those searching for household essentials shouldn't overlook these $6 reusable cleaning cloths, which only require water or liquid cleaners to wipe down surfaces. Amy Schulman, PEOPLE.com, 1 Mar. 2022 Of course, all those claims overlook the Russian-Georgian War, which occurred under President George W. Bush. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 22 Feb. 2022 However, sometimes people overlook the needs of those closest to them. Michael Kurima, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Feb. 2022 Outside, covered patios overlook an infinity-edge pool and barbecue area. Libertina Brandt, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 Among those lessons, investors should not overlook the consequences of following the advice of apocalyptic strategists of four decades ago. Martin Fridson, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From management area headquarters, follow Madison 1425 to the left and watch for signs that direct travelers to the overlook. Flip Putthoff, Arkansas Online, 15 Mar. 2022 The second category, easy-to-overlook stamps, are mostly ones which aren’t issued by official governments. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 2 Feb. 2022 From the parking lot, a short walk and climb up a staircase leads to an overlook with views of the Penokee Range and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to the south. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2021 The more ambitious Tule Elk Trail, steep in places, climbs the other side of the creek to an overlook with sweeping views (4.6 miles each way). Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2021 Many hikers make the overlook their turnaround point for a quick workout and walk through a natural desert botanical garden. Mare Czinar, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2022 There’s time for gold panning, for a dog sled demonstration or for a hike up to an overlook. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Feb. 2022 There is no trail in that area and the overlook is surrounded by rocky cliffs, the National Park Service’s Golden Gate office said in a Tweet. Andres Picon, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Feb. 2022 Pink Hill Trail comes in from the east and a quick scramble leads to an overlook atop the low summit for dramatic views of the bristling cactus forest. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 2 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overlook.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overlook


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1861, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About overlook

Time Traveler for overlook

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near overlook




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for overlook

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overlook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlook. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for overlook


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

Kids Definition of overlook

1 : to look down upon or provide a view of from above The house overlooks a valley.
2 : to fail to see : miss The detective overlooked an important clue.
3 : to pay no attention to : ignore I'll overlook the mistake this time.

More from Merriam-Webster on overlook

Nglish: Translation of overlook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overlook for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!