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 last Athens High quarterback prospect who was overlooked by the in-state schools, Philip Rivers, went on to a Hall-of-Fame career. al, "The Southern 120: Counting down Nos. 91-120 of the South’s top Class of 2020 recruits," 13 Jan. 2020 China’s outreach to Africa aims to build trade, investment and political ties with a continent often seen as overlooked by the U.S. and other Western nations. Washington Post, "China’s foreign minister heads to Zimbabwe on Africa tour," 11 Jan. 2020 Our schools are generally small and generally poor, and quite honestly, generally overlooked by the rest of the state. Josh Will, Cincinnati.com, "Guest TML: It can't be overstated how Joe Burrow transformed the Southeast Ohio landscape," 10 Jan. 2020 Ramy covers a subject often overlooked by Gen Y and Gen Z stories: faith. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Golden Globes Is Putting The Future Of Hollywood On Its Only Two Winners Of Colour," 6 Jan. 2020 Texans keep getting overlooked by NFL in playoffs, only on HoustonChronicle.com Garrett, whose contract officially expires Jan. 14, took over as interim head coach in the middle of the 2010 season when Wade Phillips was fired after a 1-7 start. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "With Cowboys reportedly moving on, who could replace Jason Garrett as head coach?," 3 Jan. 2020 Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Queen Elizabeth Shines in Yellow While Attending Post-Christmas Church Service with Royal Family," 29 Dec. 2019 Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Mentioned Baby Archie in Her Annual Christmas Day Speech," 27 Dec. 2019 Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Message Reflects on the Royal Family's "Bumpy" Year," 25 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the end of a rewarding day of skiing and camaraderie, Meg Free and two friends paused for cellphone photos on top of Keystone’s Dercum Mountain at one of the most photogenic overlooks in Colorado skiing. John Meyer, The Know, "Skiing on Thanksgiving weekend? Conditions are great in Summit County," 29 Nov. 2019 The $2 million plan from Milwaukee County Parks includes a fish passage in the west side of the Milwaukee River; a scenic overlook, portage area and access to the water for people with disabilities; and dam repairs. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Better delay than err': Latest Kletzsch Park dam proposal stalled by questions, concerns," 24 Dec. 2019 One such road that leads to a heart-stirring overlook spins off just yards from the Badger Springs Wash trailhead. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Don't be put off by the burn scar. This Agua Fria River overlook hike is well worth it," 21 Nov. 2019 From the summit, visitors can link up with the orange trail that connects with a light blue trail taking visitors to a second overlook about 100 feet lower than Peter’s Rock. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "The ruins of the Hermitage and the spectacular views from Peter’s Rock in North Haven," 19 July 2019 Short hikes lead to big visual payoffs, such as the Bright Angel Point Trail that begins from the lodge and travels half a mile to a spectacular overlook. Steve Larese, National Geographic, "Eight epic stops in the Four Corners region," 27 June 2019 Its most beautiful hike may be the 3.5-mile Millers Rock Trail, which leads to an overlook with an expansive view of tiny towns, fields and mountains. Christina Ianzito, Washington Post, "In West Virginia, my family tried to connect with the land — and disconnect from our devices," 4 Sep. 2019 The preserve already offers sweeping views of Woodstock from an overlook, which is accessible from a trail managed by WLT. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Land Trust Plans Expansion Of Bull Hill Project," 21 Oct. 2019 Between May and November, stop off at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe visitors center, where a funicular shuttles passengers to an overlook of the colossal Pasterze Glacier. National Geographic, "Here are 10 of the world’s most spectacular road trips," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Learn More about overlook

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

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overlook.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlooking. Accessed 28 January 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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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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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