1

overlook

verb over·look \ ˌō-vər-ˈlu̇k \
Updated on: 14 May 2018

Definition of overlook

1 : to look over : inspect
  • took down a map and overlooked it
  • —Eileen Duggan
2 a : 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
3 a : to look past : miss
  • whose sharpened senses overlook nothing
  • —Richard Semon
b : ignore 1
  • learned to overlook her boyfriend's minor faults
c : excuse 2
  • minor misdemeanors may sometimes be overlooked
  • Punch
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

Examples of overlook in a Sentence

  1. The detective overlooked an important clue.

  2. Such a crime should not be overlooked.

  3. The quarterback was overlooked by other teams.

  4. the mountains that overlook the village

  5. We rented a suite that overlooks the lake.

Recent Examples of overlook from the Web

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

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

overlook

noun over·look \ ˈō-vər-ˌlu̇k \

Definition of overlook

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

Examples of overlook in a Sentence

  1. just down the road there's a great overlook where you can get a panoramic view of the valley below

Recent Examples of overlook from the Web

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

1861

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

overlook Synonyms

Related Words

aerie, crow's nest, tower, watchtower;


OVERLOOK Defined for English Language Learners

overlook

Definition of overlook for English Language Learners

  • : to fail to see or notice (something)

  • : to pay no attention to (something)

  • : to not consider (someone) for a job, position, promotion, etc.


OVERLOOK Defined for Kids

overlook

verb over·look \ ˌō-vər-ˈlu̇k \

Definition of overlook for Students

overlooked; overlooking
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.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up overlook? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a quick and clever reply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • spring-flowers
  • Which is a synonym of raillery?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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