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

Snipers perched atop a nearby tower overlooking the vast property. Jill Colvin, BostonGlobe.com, "Before Putin meeting, Trump blames predecessor for election meddling," 14 July 2018 Now, Lostao hopes others feel the same about the four-bedroom home that sits on a bluff overlooking Butterfield Creek. David Gleisner, Daily Southtown, "Rare glass house carved into hillside hits the market in Olympia Fields," 14 July 2018 The private, gated estate spans two acres on a double lot and opens to a flat backyard overlooking the city. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Elizabeth Taylor’s Beverly Hills haunt hits the market for $15.9 million," 12 July 2018 Right next to it is the laundry room, which has custom cabinetry and a farmhouse sink under a window overlooking the front lawn. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "This modern Louisville-area farmhouse was designed with family in mind," 12 July 2018 Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York This scenic Long Island beach overlooking the Atlantic will please both the beach lover and the architecture lover. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "The 4 best beaches in America, according to 'Dr. Beach'," 11 July 2018 Last week, members of a right-wing group gathered on a hilltop overlooking the village and demonstrated in favor of the demolition, holding up Israeli flags. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "As Israeli bulldozers circle, a tiny village takes center stage in Palestinian struggle," 11 July 2018 Grab a seat on the patio overlooking Seal Cove (blankets provided) or in the funky, tin-ceilinged bar. Jeanne Cooper, SFChronicle.com, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 But the big draw is likely to be the second-story patio, overlooking the Village's new streetscape. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dining patios proliferate around Milwaukee; a look at some new ones for 2018," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Hiking trails loop around dikes near the visitor center on Highway 28 between Horicon and Mayville and a scenic overlook off Palmatory Street in Horicon. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "By boat, bike or foot, Horicon Marsh is a Wisconsin treasure," 31 May 2018 The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Park (802-457-3368, www.nps.gov/mabi) has 20 miles of trails and carriage roads, including a path to an overlook near the summit of Mount Tom, with great views of the village and surrounding mountains. BostonGlobe.com, "A real spring break for families," 4 Apr. 2018 Today, most tourists are content with the view from the scenic overlook. Thomas Graham, SFChronicle.com, "Walking these seven hills of San Francisco a peak experience," 28 June 2018 The highlight of the trail is a beautiful overlook of a marsh bisected by the Westbrook/Clinton border. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A Visit To Westbrook's Horse Hill Woods," 17 June 2018 The trail is routed in and out of old-growth cypress trees, with overlooks and views of Headland Cove, Pinnacle Cove, Cypress Cove and across Carmel Bay. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sunday getaway to Carmel’s Point Lobos," 2 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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Dictionary Entries near overlook








Statistics for overlook

Last Updated

16 Sep 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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