over·​look | \ˌō-vər-ˈlu̇k \
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 \

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 & Antonyms for overlook

Synonyms: Verb

bypass, disregard, forget, ignore, neglect, overpass, pass over, slight, slur (over)

Synonyms: Noun

lookout, observatory, outlook

Antonyms: Verb

attend (to), heed, mind, regard, tend (to)

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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 Getty Center, Los Angeles In a city focused on popular entertainment, classical art and culture are often overlooked. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "10 great American attractions overlooked by locals," 10 July 2018 Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the United States, said it was often overlooked that the Schengen system allowed the reintroduction of national border controls as a temporary measure. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "For Europe, Cutting the Flow of Migrants Challenges Basic Ideals," 5 July 2018 The position means they are often overlooked as publicists rush talent inside for the start of award shows or other events. Tre'vell Anderson, latimes.com, "Lil Rel Howery supports black press on MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet," 17 June 2018 This charmingly barnlike Fredericksburg winery celebrates the grapes of the Texas High Plains around Lubbock, often overlooked varietals more commonly used for blending. Emily Spicer, San Antonio Express-News, "The top 10 Hill Country Wineries," 4 June 2018 Founder David DiChiera was a champion of racially integrated casts and outreach programs aimed at communities often overlooked by other arts groups. David Lyman, Detroit Free Press, "Opera meets baseball in MOT's 'The Summer King,' a work about a Negro leagues legend," 10 May 2018 And losing hair is a sign of sickness that’s impossible to overlook. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Hair regrowth treatment now being tested in women by La Jolla's Histogen," 12 July 2018 Purdue at Minnesota, Nov. 10 — Sandwiched in between two likely more competitive Big Ten West games (Iowa and Wisconsin), the Boilers can't afford to overlook the Gophers, who were outscored 70-0 in their final two games last season. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "Ranking Indiana's top 50 college football games in 2018," 11 July 2018 Relatedly, the field is liable to overlook the knowledge and insights developed within non-English-speaking cultures. Tim Lomas, BostonGlobe.com, "1,000 words for happiness," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its 90-foot runway provides a stunning overlook to the valleys and small towns below. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Is This the World’s Most Beautiful Airport?," 27 Sep. 2018 Visit the 70-foot-high Morgan Falls and the overlook at the top of St. Peter’s Dome for an excellent view of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Solo trips to recharge in Wisconsin," 10 June 2018 During the 1996 flood, the river pushed well above all of the overlooks at the park. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "The Potomac at Great Falls explodes at flood stage: ‘I have never seen the river appear so violent’," 5 June 2018 The trail continues across the top of the ridge past farm fields to a pair of overlooks. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A Forest Where All Can Sit On A Throne," 29 Apr. 2018 Renderings and video simulations of the bridge show a distinct structure with parallel arches, a multiuse path and pedestrian overlooks. Washington Post, "South Capitol Street project promises a new bridge — and new life — for Anacostia," 3 Mar. 2018 The overlook includes three benches forming a circle amid a crushed granite path and a flagstone paving area anchored by a stack stone wall with limestone capstone, according to village spokeswoman Megan Hoffman. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Glencoe opens new Lake Michigan overlook," 12 June 2018 No tourists or residents have been able to reach the overlook because Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been closed until further notice. Fox News, "NASA astronaut snaps stunning photo of Hawaii volcano erupting from space," 14 May 2018 Here, festive tie-dye and utilitarian fishing jackets mingle at restaurants serving the day’s catch alongside jaw-dropping ocean overlooks. Sunset, "One Perfect Day in Fort Bragg, CA," 22 Jan. 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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Dictionary Entries near overlook








Statistics for overlook

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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 \
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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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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