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

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Synonyms for overlook

Synonyms: Verb

command, dominate

Synonyms: Noun

lookout, observatory, outlook

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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


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.


just down the road there's a great overlook where you can get a panoramic view of the valley below
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The same can be said for Mauritius’s neighbors — Rodrigues, Réunion, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Comoros and Mayotte — which all float in the Indian Ocean and have local cuisines that are often overlooked. Khushbu Shah, Washington Post, "The islands of the Indian Ocean aren’t known for their food. A new cookbook aims to change that.," 26 Aug. 2019 The latter gave me the opportunity to spotlight some of the local mom-and-pop establishments in Northeast Ohio that are sometimes overlooked. Greg Burnett, cleveland.com, "Calling All Readers: Cleveland native wants to share life and culture of this city," 17 Aug. 2019 But the biggest gotcha might be a small detail that's been overlooked by many consumers eager to bank an extra $125: The pool of money to fund the payments is topped at $31 million. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "That $125 payment from Equifax? You shouldn't count on it," 31 July 2019 In anticipation of the anxiety that’s typically generated by the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programming, here are a few things about sharks that are often overlooked. Gavin Naylor, The Conversation, "Shark Week looms, but don’t panic," 25 July 2019 Mental health is something that is often overlooked with very few noticeable symptoms. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Josh Gattis defends Jim Harbaugh's respect for mental health," 21 July 2019 To tell stories that have been overlooked is exciting as a filmmaker. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Korean War to Get Indie Film Treatment With Brutal Drama 'A Bitter Front' (Exclusive)," 16 July 2019 Alyssa Nassner Amazon Prime Day may be known for its Black Friday-like deals on everything from small appliances to home tech, but there’s one category that is often overlooked: children’s gear. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Don’t miss these Prime Day deals on baby and kid gear," 15 July 2019 Eggplant is one of those vegetables with a seasonality that is often overlooked. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "This Rent Week Eggplant Dip is Absolutely an Acceptable Dinner," 10 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The second basin trail will remain closed until construction is complete and access to overlooks may be limited. Red Bluff Daily News, The Mercury News, "Bumpass Hell: Popular hiking trail to reopen after two years," 11 Sep. 2019 Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park is a steep, dramatic and well-structured hike to this high overlook. Rosemary Mcclure, Los Angeles Times, "In fall, experience the awe and adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks," 31 Aug. 2019 The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, a $480 million project under construction over the Anacostia in Southeast and Southwest Washington, will feature pedestrian and bike facilities, including four pedestrian overlooks. Washington Post, "Rowers, bicyclists and pedestrians face off over a new Anacostia River crossing," 20 Aug. 2019 The shuttle runs to the visitor center, lodge, campground, and several overlooks. National Geographic, "Everything to know about Bryce Canyon National Park," 19 Aug. 2019 The bottom line: Trails wind along old woods roads, through deep forests and along the banks of a large swamp to scenic overlooks. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Swallowed up by the natural world near the bustling UConn campus," 26 July 2019 In addition, residents can enjoy the private overlook that is accessible only to those who live there, with the ability to host friends and family on the expansive deck boasting unparalleled views of the Tenmile Range. Kelli Williams, The Denver Post, "Your new oasis awaits at Uptown 240, an amenity-rich community located in Dillon," 29 Aug. 2019 There’s no driving down to the beach, and that was our primary way of getting people off the face of the overlook. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Don't get stuck at Sleeping Bear sand dunes. It could cost you thousands.," 24 July 2019 At the edge of the overlook is nothing but air; 3,000 feet down runs the largest rapid on the Colorado River. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "Everything to know about Grand Canyon National Park," 15 Mar. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of overlook


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1861, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overlook

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overlook

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

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More Definitions for overlook



English Language Learners Definition of overlook

: to fail to see or notice (something)
: to pay no attention to (something)
: to not consider (someone) for a job, position, promotion, etc.


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overlook

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overlook

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overlook

Spanish Central: Translation of overlook

Nglish: Translation of overlook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overlook for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overlook

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


concealment of treason or felony

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