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

What Ingrum didn’t know was that those financial projections overlooked many realities of modern farming in the U.S., where much of the country’s agricultural output is controlled by a handful of giant companies. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "How a Top Chicken Company Cut Off Black Farmers, One by One," 26 June 2019 Perched in the hills overlooking Portofino, the Belmond Hotel Splendido is the exclusive town’s crown jewel. Emily Selter, ELLE Decor, "A Peek Inside Belmond Hotel Splendido's Most Exclusive New Suites," 25 June 2019 Corbin recalled their first meeting, on top of a parking garage overlooking the Clemson baseball field, when Bakich pulled out a bunch of exercise equipment. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Here's why, in Michigan baseball's College World Series run, 'all that's left is baseball'," 23 June 2019 The annual match and summertime fête overlooking the New York City skyline has become a stomping grounds for A-listers (Michael B. Jordan and Jennifer Lawrence were among attendees this year), champagne enthusiasts, and influencers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nacho Figueras Wants Us to Know the Real Prince Harry," 17 June 2019 Merritt's attorneys said the two men were best friends and investigators overlooked another possible suspect in the killings. Fox News, "California man guilty of killing family of 4 found in desert," 11 June 2019 In back, the family room has sliders to a deck overlooking a kid’s paradise: a rolling lawn with a treehouse and an impressive zip line. Jon Gorey, BostonGlobe.com, "For sale: Homes with treehouses," 5 July 2019 Guests can sit at either a table or one of two gleaming bars, one for cocktails and another overlooking the kitchen, allowing diners to become spectators at the theater of food. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Break bread at The Tilted Row in Bolton Hill," 3 July 2019 But research shows that financial incentives rewarding top performers often have the effect of stirring up resentment among peers who feel overlooked. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why it’s so dangerous when star employees check out," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Among the many landmarks along Going-to-the-Sun Road are Avalanche Creek with its ancient hemlock-cedar forest, a wicked switchback called the Loop, a roadside Weeping Wall, and the overlook for big Jackson Glacier. National Geographic, "A guide to Glacier National Park," 17 Apr. 2019 The sweeping overlook is stunning, especially at dawn when the morning sun first hits Sagittarius Ridge and Point Sublime. Robert Earle Howells, National Geographic, "Discover the Grand Canyon's less-trafficked trails," 12 June 2019 The crowd included a few tourists visiting Death Valley National Park, compelled to pull over at the overlook after spotting the lines of tripods and cameras. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: In Death Valley’s ‘Star Wars Canyon,’ fighter jet aficionados have a good feeling," 7 May 2019 The overlook is at the end of a trail off the blue trail and sits on top of a huge rock outcropping. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A Visit To Westbrook's Horse Hill Woods," 17 June 2018 There is a new opportunity to get a glimpse of Lake Michigan in Glencoe, as the village has opened an overlook at South Avenue. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Glencoe opens new Lake Michigan overlook," 12 June 2018 Visitors can drive along the canyon rim and stop at overlooks or take a short hike to White House Ruin. azcentral, "From climate to fry bread, 125 reasons to love Arizona," 15 May 2015 Hetch Hetchy area and Glacier Point Road—known for its overlook with views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls—remain closed because of smoke. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Parts of Yosemite National Park Reopen, Slowly," 13 Aug. 2018 The South Avenue location contains similarities to other existing village overlooks located at Park and Hazel avenues, according to Mau. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Glencoe opens new Lake Michigan overlook," 12 June 2018

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

8 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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