- 1 [no object, usually with adverbial of direction] Direct one’s gaze in a specified direction: people were looking at him they looked up as he came into the roomMore example sentences
glance, gaze, stare, gape, peer, fix one's gaze, focus; peep, peek, take a look; watch, examine, study, inspect, scan, scrutinize, survey, check, contemplate, consider; see, observe, view, regard, pay attention to, take note of, mark, check out; glimpse, spot, spy, lay one's eyes on, catch sight of, eye, take in, ogle• informal take a gander, give someone/something a/the once-over, have a squint, get a load of, rubberneck, recceNorth American • informal eyeball
- When it came to a standstill, I was holding tight onto the table and looking at another passenger, who was looking down at me.
- I looked nervously around to see if anyone was looking at me, then back up the path toward her.
- I looked to my left, and a man was in the corner was looking at me over his shoulder with a big grin on his face.
- 1.1 (look through) Ignore (someone) by pretending not to see them: he glanced up once but looked right through meMore example sentences
snub, ignore, slight, spurn, shun, disdain, look past, turn one's back on, give someone the cold shoulder, cold-shoulder, freeze out, steer clear of; British send to CoventryBritish • informal blank
- I'm one of those people everyone looks through, like a window or a ghost or the air.
- Their parents didn't pay any attention at all and looked through the men just as the men looked through the children.
- He seemed to be looking right through her.
- 1.2 [with object] • dated Express (something) by one’s gaze: Poirot looked a questionMore example sentences
- Brenda and Larry looked a question at each other.
- Jones looked an enquiry at His Highness, who nodded assent.
- I thought of the gentle eyes which had once looked love at me.
- 1.3 [with object] (look something over) Inspect something with a view to establishing its merits: they looked over a property in Great Marlborough StreetMore example sentences
inspect, examine, check, monitor, read through, look through, scan, run through, cast an eye over, leaf through, flick through, flip through, browse, give something/someone a/the once-over, take stock of, view, peruse• informal take a dekko atNorth American check outNorth American • informal eyeball
- Dad will first take the two tickets and look them over like a valuator inspecting diamonds.
- I examined the ring, looking it over and wondering if ever it would grace his finger again.
- Now look those files over; I gotta check out the rest of the ship and then you'll be up and away.
- 1.4 (look through) Peruse (a book or other written material): we looked through all the books and this was still the one we liked bestMore example sentences
- As a child he was often sick and so had plenty of time to learn to read and look through picture books.
- He cannot read or write, and spends his days in prison coloring and looking through comic books.
- I looked through the book and in various places read uncomfortably familiar passages.
- 1.5 (look round/around) Walk round (a place or building) in order to view any interesting features: he spent the day looking round EdinburghMore example sentences
- There were some quaint streets to explore and various interesting shops to look round.
- We spent the day with our friends looking round the lovely old buildings.
- And on June 29, ex-pupils and staff are invited to reunite to have a final look round the building.
- 1.6 [with clause] Ascertain with a quick glance: people finishing work don’t look where they’re goingMore example sentences
- You really should look where you're going. I could have run you down.
- Mobile phone users are less likely to look whether the road is clear before crossing.
- He walked along the street without looking where he put his feet.
- 2 (look at/on) Regard in a specified way: I look at tennis differently from some coachesMore example sentences
- Do you feel like you go out there and guys are looking at you a little differently now?
- The children had always regarded her as family, and as a result she looked on them as her own.
- People welcomed and looked on him as a friend regardless of the cause of his visit.
- 2.1 (look at) Examine (a matter) and consider what action to take: a committee is looking at the financing of the BBCMore example sentences
- It's just a matter of looking at how your day is structured and finding a free slot.
- Since this came to light we have looked at other matters with other police forces.
- It is the select committee that looks at an issue, rather than at the politics of an issue.
- 2.2 (look into) Investigate: the police looked into his business dealingsMore example sentences
investigate, explore, research, enquire about, make enquiries about, find out about, ask questions about, ask about; probe, search into, go into, delve into, dig into, examine, study, scrutinize, check, analyse, follow up, check up on, pore over, take stock of; vet, audit; North American check out
- Police and fire investigators are looking into a spate of suspicious fires in Braintree.
- Investigators are looking into the incident but they are already treating it as suspicious.
- West Yorkshire Police is looking into her claims after she made a complaint.
- 2.3 (usually look for) Attempt to find: Howard has been looking for youMore example sentences
- When you are looking at each case individually, what are you looking for?
- When I got home I went around my room looking for a book I had to return to the Library.
- We causally walked through the rooms looking for anything that might help in our journey.
- 3 [with complement or adverbial] Have the appearance or give the impression of being: mum looked unhappy the home looked like a prison (as adjective, in combination -looking) a funny-looking blokeMore example sentences
seem, seem to be, appear, appear to be, have the appearance/air of being, give the impression of being, give every appearance/indication of being, look to be, present as being, strike someone as beingresemble, bear a resemblance to, look similar to, have a look of, have the appearance of, remind one of, put one in mind of, make one think of, be the image of, echo, have (all) the hallmarks of, simulate; take after
- For much of tonight's show she looks bored, unhappy and uncomfortable when singing.
- Recently he has been looking rather grim.
- Last week, she appeared in the papers looking shockingly gaunt, and it was reported she has been hitting the bottle again.
- 3.1 (look like) • informal Show a likelihood of: [with present participle]: Leeds didn’t look like scoring from any of their corners [with clause]: it doesn’t look like you’ll be moving to LiverpoolMore example sentences
- Although they had the best of position, it only ever looked like one team would score.
- He has that knack of playing well every game and always looks like scoring a goal if not two.
- With the game being played in the middle of the field neither team were looking like scoring.
- 3.2 (look oneself) Appear one’s normal, healthy self: he just didn’t look himself at allMore example sentences
- They haven't looked themselves for a little while now.
- He hasn't looked himself since he had to give up his day job at the High Court.
- There have been instances when the opposition just didn't look themselves.
- 4 (look to) Rely on (someone) to do or provide something: she will look to you for helpMore example sentences
- It is about the dispossessed who look to us to provide quality public services.
- Since the Defendants are looking to Lloyd's to provide coverage for the claims made, it is necessary to examine the statement of claim.
- However, one look at our eager students reminds us they rely on and look to us for leadership, guidance and motivation.
- 4.1 [with infinitive] Hope or expect to do something: universities are looking to expand their intakesMore example sentences
- This is absolutely vital to the Club as it looks to expand facilities at Balla Town Park.
- A nursery is looking to expand to keep on children who have grown too old for it.
- We are looking to expand into the market and move beyond our core competency of racing games.
- 4.2 [with clause] • archaic Take care; make sure: Look ye obey the masters of the craftMore example sentences
- Look that you behave well to him.
- 5(Of a building or room) have an outlook in a specified direction: the room looks out over Mylor HarbourMore example sentences
command a view, face, overlook, front
- Double rooms look over Rocky Bay with views to the ocean.
- Bedroom 4 is the most peaceful room in the Inn with French doors looking out on the garden courtyard and fountain.
- The restaurant had a dining room that looked over the bay.
nounBack to top
- 1An act of directing one’s gaze in order to see someone or something: let me get a closer lookMore example sentences
- He knelt down beside one of the bodies to take a closer look, and looked back up with a furrowed brow.
- And then something happens and you stop and look, the look becomes a gaze, the gaze a stare.
- I thought that the hem on my skirt was looking a bit frayed and decided to take a closer look.
- 1.1An expression of a feeling or thought by looking: the orderly gave me a funny lookMore example sentences
- Anxious looks gave way to expressions of relief and then to quiet smiles of confidence.
- Jay nods and I see that his joking expression has been replaced with a look of sympathy.
- Getting a laptop out on the top deck of a bus gets you some funny looks.
- 1.2A scrutiny or examination: the government should take a look at the amount of grant the council receivesMore example sentences
- The many parents that called to have a look and investigate places for their children enjoyed the visit.
- It is time the experts are called in to take a look and suggest measures.
- Tomorrow we will take a quick look at the exam before doing a last review of the work.
- 2The appearance of someone or something, especially as expressing a particular quality: the bedraggled look of the villageMore example sentences
- There have been great reviews about the quality, the look and usability of our site.
- When the lighting is finally in place it will make a huge improvement to the look of the village.
- The seats are supremely comfortable, and the cabin has a real quality look and feel to it.
- 2.1 (looks) A person’s facial appearance considered aesthetically: he had charm, good looks, and an amusing insoucianceMore example sentences
- Becky, working as a governess, resorts to her good looks and alluring personality to move up in society.
- He has the dark good looks necessary for heart-throb status but a question mark has always hung over his talent.
- With her PhD in animal behaviour, natural good looks and easy way with a camera, she's a natural.
- 2.2A style or fashion: Italian designers unveiled their latest lookMore example sentences
- Unlike mohair and go-go boots, some fashion looks never go out of style or out of season.
- The cut is also beautiful, and the look fashionable yet sophisticated.
- She looked good in her black trousers, but it was a casual rather than a fashionable look.
exclamationBack to top
- (also look here!) Used to call attention to what one is going to say: ‘Look, this is ridiculous.’More example sentences
- It was as if he were saying to me: look, we are hitting a ball over the net and this is a pretty damn good way to make a living.
- I was actually on the verge of saying to him: look, just forget it, what is it going to prove?
- Had I been in an old comedy film, I would have said something like ‘now look here!’
look one's age
- Appear to be as old as one really is: she knew she didn’t look her ageMore example sentences
- I'm coming to the conclusion I don't look my age, and I don't act my age.
- He appeared drawn, his hair grayed, finally looking his age, she was delighted to see.
- She gained some weight, incidentally, and looks her age now.
look before you leap
- • proverb You shouldn’t act without first considering the possible consequences or dangers.More example sentences
- As Simon noted, of course ‘you should look before you leap,’ but it is also true that ‘he who hesitates is lost.’
- The rationale was the same that has guided Carter in much of his post-presidential career: look before you leap.
- Better to go slowly, they say, and look before you leap.
look daggers at
- see dagger.
look for trouble
- see trouble.
look someone in the eye (or face)
- Look directly at someone without showing embarrassment, fear, or shame: I felt confident enough to look him straight in the eyeMore example sentences
- But they never looked me in the eye or addressed me directly.
- She didn't look him in the eye for fear of how he would answer.
- Maybe he would have the best policies, but I could never support any politician who can't look me in the eye and give a straight answer to a question.
look lively (or • dated alive)
- [usually in imperative] • informal Move more quickly and energetically: ‘Look lively, lads, keep in step,’ Charlie shoutedMore example sentences
- ‘Well then look alive,’ Nickel said picking up his two-way radio.
- Look lively gentlemen, here comes part of the welcoming committee.
- Look lively, you two. I'm opening the airlock.
look the other way
- Deliberately ignore wrongdoing by others: the authorities simply seem content to look the other wayMore example sentences
- Will anyone stand up against an employer that discriminates against women or do we just look the other way?
- As long as her second husband kept his trysts private and emotionally uninvolving, she was willing to look the other way.
- He will surround himself with those who look the other way or actually encourage his philandering behavior.
- Be quick: well, look sharp then, or else you’ll keep Jos waitingMore example sentences
- Look sharp, we've got some incoming cruise missiles.
- Look sharp, all of ye! There are whales hereabouts!
- Come on - look sharp and put your microphones on.
- see small.
look to the future
- Consider and plan for what is in the future, rather than worrying about the past or present: the making of forecasts forces managers to think ahead, to look to the futureMore example sentences
- They feel that entirely too many meetings are steeped in the past and present, rather than looking to the future.
- She said the break would give the family a chance to forget about past worries and look to the future.
- More to the point, he'd lost his interest in life, preferring to dwell on the past rather than look to the future.
look someone up and down
- Scrutinize someone carefully: Fen looked her up and down consideringly before answeringMore example sentences
- She stared at me, looked me up and down and sneered.
- He looked me up and down, his gaze stopping when it reached my eyes.
- Seth looked me up and down, as if checking me for signs of damage.
- Take care of: women who stay at home to look after childrenMore example sentences
- Patients will be treated on a day care basis and be looked after by a team of specialist eye nurses.
- We care for and look after all our customers especially the elderly and disabled.
- She also looked after and nursed her mother for many years up to the time of her death.
- [with negative] Suffer a setback or interrupted progress: she launched her own company in 1981 and has never looked backMore example sentences
- Soon electronic engineering became a thing of the past for Richard and he's never looked back.
- With the help and encouragement of friends, we started to farm - and never looked back.
- I bought 300 books from a collector $3,500 in 1976, and I've never looked back.
look back at/on
- Think of (past events): don’t waste time looking back on things which have caused you distressMore example sentences
- Those of us with long political memories tend to look back at events of the past and expect history to repeat itself.
- How can anyone, looking back at the past four years, possibly approve?
- Have you ever looked back at the past and wished that things would go back to how they were, though you knew they never could?
- Regard (someone) with a feeling of superiority: my mother had social pretensions and looked down on most of our neighboursMore example sentences
- Don't consider me some well-off snob who looks down on all you bus riders because I do not.
- Serving someone was looked down on, and the art of gracious service got lost.
- If you don't make good money you are a loser and may be looked down on, no matter how civilized and ethical you are.
look forward to
- Await eagerly: we look forward to seeing youMore example sentences
- It promises to be a great occasion for the local community and is eagerly looked forward to.
- He is overjoyed and finds all the people are happy to see him, and he looks forward to the life that awaits him.
- The carnival parade on Sunday afternoon is something everyone looks forward to.
- Make a short visit or call: I will look in on you tomorrowMore example sentences
- I'm sure he looks in every once in a while to check up on what we've all been saying.
- She would ask one of their retired neighbors on the street, a woman, to look in on him every hour or so, if he wanted.
- Would anyone think to look in on an old man who lived by himself?
- Watch without getting involved: Cameron was looking on and making no move to helpMore example sentences
- He looked on and watched as the same girl in his dream climbed into his room through the window.
- He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the boot of his car.
- The coach looked on, inscrutable as he always is when watching from the stands.
- [usually in imperative] Be vigilant and take notice: ‘Look out!’ warned Billie, seeing a movement from the room beyondMore example sentences
- I just hope they will take notice of warning signs we have put up and look out for them on the roads.
- ‘Look out! Look out!’ they cried to their fellow crew members.
- ‘Look out!’ I yelled, diving toward Scott.
look something out
- British Search for and produce something: I’ve got a catalogue somewhere and I’ll look it out if you’re interestedMore example sentences
- If you had alerted me to the application, I would have looked it out.
- It was one of the finest albums of the early 1990s - I must look it out and play it again.
- He said he thought he had a colour photograph of the sinking ship and he promised to look it out for me.
- (Of a situation) improve: things seemed to be looking up at lastMore example sentences
- With an increase in the number of heavy metal record labels things are looking up.
- When events in life take a turn for the better, we say that things are looking up.
- They followed this up with a draw against Down and a win over Louth and things were looking up.
look someone up
- • informal Make social contact with someone: he would look her up when he was in the areaMore example sentences
- We emailed for a bit too but are now out of contact - I should probably look her up again some time.
- Man, I seriously need to look you up when I come visit my parents in Spring.
- Sometimes, an Italian friend on a visit to London would look him up.
look something up
- Search for and find a piece of information in a book or database: the translation process amounted to little more than looking up words in bilingual dictionariesMore example sentences
- I got out a drug book and looked it up, and from what I could read it said 50 mg was the maximum dose that should be given to an adult.
- I make a point of never looking recipes up in a book, it slows me down.
- When was the last time you went to one of your own books and looked something up?
look up to
- Have a great deal of respect for (someone): he needed a model, someone to look up toMore example sentences
- Old people should be looked up to and respected because they do have experiences that we haven't.
- He is someone we can respect and look up to, but he's not so high above us that we feel low and downtrodden.
- This generation looks up to, respects, and admires their parents.
Old English lōcian (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to German dialect lugen.