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

Synonyms: Noun

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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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The city has been a Democratic bastion for decades, but that doesn’t mean the party can overlook it in the 2020 race. WSJ, "Inside the Counties That Will Help Decide the 2020 Election," 9 Oct. 2020 Half of the hotel’s rooms overlook the Vikings’ practice facility to the west of the building. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings' Gary Kubiak, Texans' J.J. Watt have an enduring friendship," 1 Oct. 2020 The list below starts with the more obvious places (for beginners) and transitions into subtler hotspots that even experienced hunters can overlook. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Complete Guide to Hunting Deer from a Treestand," 11 Sep. 2020 Those seemingly bland dividend cheques provide a wealth of information that is easy to overlook. The Economist, "Schumpeter Big Tech is the new dividend royalty," 15 Aug. 2020 Someone who is looking for a job shouldn't overlook the possibility that a con artist can create the perfect job just for you, based on your education and skill set before sending you a text or email. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Mystery shopper, fake job offers target people stretched for cash during pandemic," 25 Sep. 2020 Another tip: don’t overlook limited-time special lease or financing terms or additional discounts and rebates pertaining to college graduations or military service. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Car shoppers set sights on bargain 2020s, tantalizing 2021s," 3 Sep. 2020 Don’t overlook the utilitarian functions of a bathroom, either. Alicia Chilton, Better Homes & Gardens, "9 No-Fail Ways to Add Fall Decor to Your Bathroom," 31 Aug. 2020 And all of that said, do not overlook the impact Khris Middleton could have on the series, as well. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Do Bucks have the playoff mettle to endure?," 31 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fall happened Sunday morning at the overlook, near Page, Ariz., just over the Utah state line in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, according to a release from the recreation area and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Man dies in fall at Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, and recovery crews find remains of another body," 6 Oct. 2020 Drive deep into the park to Book Cliffs View, in between Lizard and Wedding Canyons, and plop a camp chair at the overlook. Jacqueline Kehoe, National Geographic, "This stargazing road trip offers world-class night sky views," 1 Oct. 2020 Visit early With Page, Arizona, serving as your home base, visiting the Horseshoe Bend overlook requires just an hour's drive. Sarah Kuta, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Escape the Crowds at Horseshoe Bend," 24 Sep. 2020 Interstate 80 Overlook: Reaching the overlook involves a short, but challenging hike along the Towpath and Buckeye trails, beginning at the Boston Trailhead. Chris M. Worrell, cleveland, "Greater Cleveland overlooks provide miles of colorful fall foliage," 17 Sep. 2020 However, by early Saturday afternoon on the overlook the plans were up in smoke. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "These backcountry hikers got caught as the Creek Fire roared to life. So they outsmarted it," 7 Sep. 2020 Easy to install and pick up, these versions of the games provide an engaging look at a unique, easy-to-overlook title in the history of first-person shooters. Julie Muncy, Wired, "It's Time to Revisit the Games That Gave Rise to Halo," 27 Aug. 2020 Before heading left to continue the hike, look for an informal footpath behind the trail sign that leads a few yards to an overlook above a drainage gorge. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "If you want to hike where the people aren't, try this trail south of Flagstaff. Here's how," 15 Aug. 2020 The hike begins from a dirt road about ¾ mile southeast of Cape Royal Road's Vista Encantada overlook. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Visiting Grand Canyon North Rim: Complete guide to what's open, closed and delayed in 2020," 11 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for overlook

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overlook

Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overlook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlook. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for overlook


How to pronounce overlook (audio)

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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