Definition of overlook in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈlʊk/
[with object]
1Fail to notice: he seems to have overlooked one important fact
More example sentences
  • Oddly enough, you sometimes overlook important details or fail completely to see and understand the other person's point of view.
  • Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact.
  • However, you might be overlooking a few important facts.
miss, fail to notice, fail to observe, fail to spot, fail to see, leave, leave unnoticed
informal slip up on
1.1Ignore or disregard (something, especially a fault or offence): she was more than ready to overlook his faults
More example sentences
  • He was, and is, a good man, but no man is good enough to overlook every fault, especially something like this.
  • However, while you are quick to overlook faults, the Thinker can be overly critical.
  • The prisoner promised that if the Magistrates would overlook the offence he would not do anything of the kind again.
disregard, neglect, ignore, pay no attention/heed to, turn a blind eye, turn a deaf ear to, pass over, omit, skip (over), gloss over, leave out, leave undone, forget
deliberately ignore, not take into consideration, disregard, take no notice of, take no account of, make allowances for, let pass, turn a blind eye to, wink at, blink at, connive at, excuse, pardon, forgive, condone, let someone off with, let go, sink, bury, let bygones be bygones
informal let something ride
1.2Pass over (someone) in favour of another: he was overlooked by the Nobel committee
More example sentences
  • Cleopatra Thea of Syria was reputed to be far more beautiful and cunning than Cleopatra VII, yet she is always overlooked in favour of her descendant!
  • I had thought the pattern was more or less standardized, but it appears I've been overlooking some extraordinary people.
  • Reliance solely on the conventional diagnostic approach will overlook many people who could benefit from thyroid-replacement therapy.
2Have a view of from above: the chateau overlooks fields of corn and olive trees
More example sentences
  • A large flowing fountain centered it all, and beyond, the rear windows overlooked the valley with a grandiose view of the lake and the city in the distance.
  • Her large window overlooked the street, with a narrow view of downtown, which was spectacular after dark when the lights glittered in the night sky.
  • One of the employees I had become friends with over the summer grabbed me and dragged me over to the huge picture window that overlooked the playing field of Yankee Stadium.
have a view of, afford a view of, look over/across, look on to, look out on/over, face, front on to, give on to, give over, open out over, command a view of, command, dominate
2.1 (be overlooked) (Of a place) be open to view and so lack privacy: it’s better if the property isn’t overlooked
More example sentences
  • In many of the capital's boroughs, they refuse applications to turn roof space into gardens because of concerns that nearby homes will be overlooked and neighbours' privacy infringed.
  • One of the new houses is three storeys high and the other is four, prompting fears that homes nearby will lose their privacy by being overlooked.
  • They also complain that homes in Tower Place, which runs alongside the gardens, will be directly overlooked by the rotating wheel capsules, destroying their privacy.
3 archaic Supervise: he was overlooking his harvest men
4 archaic Bewitch with the evil eye: they told them they were overlooked by some unlucky Person


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvəlʊk/
North American
A commanding position or view: the overlook to the townsite
More example sentences
  • There are outstanding views of the Table Mountains from the glass overlook and walk-out balcony of the new Geology Museum.
  • He quickened his pace when the overlook came into view on the ridge ahead.
  • I left the garden (it started to rain a little) and walked up to the overlook for a long view of Lake Mendota.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over|look

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.