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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for overlook

Synonyms: Verb

command, dominate

Synonyms: Noun

lookout, observatory, outlook

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This tour comes with a few tall tales about how this overlooked masterpiece came to be. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Peek into a former sanatorium, French Gothic cathedral and more landmarks at Doors Open Denver," 15 Sep. 2019 However, Daugherty’s ignominious finish to his coaching career often gets overlooked. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "On cusp of history, Mark Dantonio still thirsts for greatness at Michigan State," 14 Sep. 2019 Mr Lemann is furious about the treatment of GM, which got a bail-out in 2009, but overlooks its inefficiency and bad management. The Economist, "Nicholas Lemann traces the history of American corporations," 14 Sep. 2019 Pratt officials hope to open the building up to wider audiences in this attractive room whose numerous windows overlook the Basilica of the Assumption on Cathedral Street. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore’s Pratt Central Library emerges from renovation with its beauties intact," 13 Sep. 2019 This estate is the paradigm of luxury living, with no expense spared or detail overlooked. Amanda Molitor, The Denver Post, "Effortlessly luxurious estate in the Polo Club neighborhood of Denver," 12 Sep. 2019 But for a book implicitly structured around race and law enforcement, the omission of Turner’s controversial six-month sentence feels puzzling and an example of how Gladwell’s sharp eye can overlook a bigger picture. Chris Barton, chicagotribune.com, "‘Talking to Strangers’: Malcolm Gladwell investigates the dangers of misunderstanding, from Sandra Bland to Bernie Madoff," 11 Sep. 2019 There’s also a stand-alone take-out area and the bar area overlooks the casino. San Diego Union-Tribune, "What’s new at San Diego casinos: restaurants, beer, mobile apps and menu changes," 8 Sep. 2019 Bruce introduces me to Barry Benkert Jr. from Western Hills Honda, who's doing announcements from a blue couch nailed to a platform with wheels on it, overlooking the track. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "The first time I raced motorcycles, a breath at a time," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Norton is 2,200 feet above sea level; another 1,200 feet above the town is an overlook, known as Flag Rock (for a flag mounted on an outcropping), and visitors first pass by a Bigfoot statue. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "A remote Virginia valley has been flooded by prescription opioids," 18 July 2019 The indictment also cites Vides’ public Facebook page, including a profile picture taken at an overlook in the Angeles National Forest — a mile from where Vides’ alleged associates hacked a 21-year-old man to death a month earlier, prosecutors say. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, "He was paid to keep kids out of gangs. Now, he’s charged in grisly MS-13 killings," 20 Aug. 2019 Wheelock hurries them to an overlook as the horizon turns tangerine, quickly sets up his scope, and starts rattling off the names of the birds sweeping past on the ocean below. Billy Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Bird nerds’ assemble at Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon," 4 June 2019 The second basin trail will remain closed until construction is complete and access to overlooks may be limited. Red Bluff Daily News, The Mercury News, "Bumpass Hell: Popular hiking trail to reopen after two years," 11 Sep. 2019 Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park is a steep, dramatic and well-structured hike to this high overlook. Rosemary Mcclure, Los Angeles Times, "In fall, experience the awe and adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks," 31 Aug. 2019 The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, a $480 million project under construction over the Anacostia in Southeast and Southwest Washington, will feature pedestrian and bike facilities, including four pedestrian overlooks. Washington Post, "Rowers, bicyclists and pedestrians face off over a new Anacostia River crossing," 20 Aug. 2019 The shuttle runs to the visitor center, lodge, campground, and several overlooks. National Geographic, "Everything to know about Bryce Canyon National Park," 19 Aug. 2019 The bottom line: Trails wind along old woods roads, through deep forests and along the banks of a large swamp to scenic overlooks. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Swallowed up by the natural world near the bustling UConn campus," 26 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of overlook


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1861, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overlook

Dictionary Entries near overlook








Statistics for overlook

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overlook

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on overlook

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overlook

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overlook

Spanish Central: Translation of overlook

Nglish: Translation of overlook for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overlook for Arabic Speakers

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).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!