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 But the Court should not overlook that real players’ lives are impacted; and real harms occur each season that last a lifetime. Time, "March Madness Exploits Black Athletes. The Supreme Court Should End This Injustice Now," 30 Mar. 2021 And don’t overlook the Tesla Model 3, the EV manufacturer’s most affordable car to date. Jason Fogelson, Forbes, "2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Test Drive And Review: Newer, Bigger, Better?," 4 Mar. 2021 Do not overlook the community and support that students can bring. Washington Post, "Readers write to Kamala Harris ahead of the inauguration," 14 Jan. 2021 But many of those policies overlook the devastating reality that a significant share of pregnancies don't make it to full term. Fortune, "New Zealand considers a new kind of parental benefit: bereavement leave for miscarriages," 25 Mar. 2021 Your generous nature is willing to overlook flaws or take less of a return on the dollar. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 12, 2021: Virgo, take the bull by the horns; Scorpio, hold tightly to your money," 12 Mar. 2021 But investors seem willing to overlook that to bet on growth. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "TikTok Rival Kuaishou Wants Your Attention—and Investment," 22 Jan. 2021 How much Jimmy is willing to overlook to protect his son is an open question, but if Michael is any indication, his instincts as a father may prevail over all other concerns. Scott Tobias, Vulture, "Your Honor Recap: Into the Abyss," 10 Jan. 2021 Nor is there any shortage of collectors who, in their eagerness to create a set of coins, may be willing to overlook a sketchy provenance or two. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The Curse of the Buried Treasure," 9 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The overlook sits 1,400 feet above the New River and its watershed. Washington Post, "He said his wife fell off a cliff, sparking a huge search. She actually faked her death to avoid prison.," 7 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, the Perseverance rover will sit on a nearby overlook and observe the flight, capturing images, video and audio. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA's Ingenuity helicopter survives first freezing night on Mars," 5 Apr. 2021 The group took in lofty sights from the top of jagged cliffs, then followed a level trail through the forest to the Eagle View overlook. Flip Putthoff, Arkansas Online, "Lake takes the cake," 18 Mar. 2021 At the time, the woman was sitting in her vehicle, which was parked at an overlook on Valley Parkway near Falls Lane in Cleveland Metroparks. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Man with starter pistol crashes pickup truck; five boys smash out of treatment center: Berea police blotter," 2 Apr. 2021 Giant mining equipment is available at the overlook to explore. Greg Brick, Star Tribune, "Going underground: Minnesota caves, tunnels and mines that you can visit now," 2 Apr. 2021 The Perseverance rover, which carried the helicopter to Mars, will watch from 197 feet (60 meters) away on an overlook called the rover observation location. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Ingenuity Mars helicopter: The historic journey to fly on another planet," 1 Apr. 2021 An optional loop trail starts at the overlook and heads toward the water. Flip Putthoff, Arkansas Online, "Lake takes the cake," 18 Mar. 2021 Abruptly, the gully path leads to staircases embedded in the wall of one incline, directing us to a high overlook of the ponds and the swells and creases of the body of the land. David Lyon, BostonGlobe.com, "Three walks with poets through their favorite landscapes," 28 Jan. 2021

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

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overlook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlook. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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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