• Look


    • IPA: RP, /lʊk/
    • Rhymes: -ʊk
    • IPA: GA, /ɫʊk/
    • Rhymes: -ʊk
    • IPA: some Northern English dialects (esp. Bolton, Liverpool), /luːk/; Liverpool usually /-uːx/
    • Rhymes: -uːk
    • Rhymes: -uːx


    From Middle English loken, lokien, from Old English lōcian ("to see, behold, look, gaze, observe, notice, take heed, belong, pertain, regard with favor"), from Proto-Germanic *lōkōną, *lōgēną ("to look") (compare West Frisian loaitsje, Middle Dutch loeken), German dialectal lugen ("to look out")), from Proto-Indo-European *lAg- ("to look, see") (compare Welsh llygad ("eye"), Tocharian AB läk- ("to see"), Sanskrit लक्षति (lakṣati, "he sees, perceives")).

    Full definition of look


    1. (intransitive, often with "at") To try to see, to pay attention to with one’s eyes.
      Look at my new car!
      Don’t look in the closet.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 5, Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady....She looked around expectantly, and recognizing Mrs. Cooke's maid...Miss Thorn greeted her with a smile which greatly prepossessed us in her favor.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 10, He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.
    2. To appear, to seem.
      It looks as if it’s going to rain soon.
      • 170?, Joseph Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c., Dedication...but should I publish any favours done me by your Lordship, I am afraid it would look more like vanity than gratitude.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 2, Now that she had rested and had fed from the luncheon tray Mrs. Broome had just removed, she had reverted to her normal gaiety.  She looked cool in a grey tailored cotton dress with a terracotta scarf and shoes and her hair a black silk helmet.
      • 2012, Chelsea 6-0 Wolves http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19632463Chelsea's youngsters, who looked lively throughout, then combined for the second goal in the seventh minute. Romeu's shot was saved by Wolves goalkeeper Dorus De Vries but Piazon kept the ball alive and turned it back for an unmarked Bertrand to blast home.
    3. (copulative) To give an appearance of being.
      That painting looks nice.
    4. (intransitive, often with "for")  To search for, to try to find.
    5. To face or present a view.
      The hotel looks over the valleys of the HinduKush.
      • Bible, Ezekiel xi. 1the east gate ... which looketh eastward
    6. To expect or anticipate.
      I look to each hour for my lover’s arrival.
      • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)looking each hour into death's mouth to fall
    7. (transitive) To express or manifest by a look.
      • Lord Byron (1788-1824)Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again.
      • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, :w:Past and Present (book), Once, slipping the money clandestinely, just in the act of taking leave, he slipt it not into her hand but on the floor, and another had it; whereupon the poor Monk, coming to know it, looked mere despair for some days
    8. (transitive, often with "to") To make sure of, to see to.
      • 1898, Homer, Samuel Butler (translator), ,"Look to it yourself, father," answered Telemachus, "for they say you are the wisest counsellor in the world, and that there is no other mortal man who can compare with you....
    9. (dated, sometimes figurative) To show oneself in looking.Look out of the window lean out while I speak to you.
    10. (transitive, obsolete) To look at; to turn the eyes toward.
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price Chapter 1, Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes....She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now,....
    11. (transitive, obsolete) To seek; to search for.
      • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)Looking my love, I go from place to place.
    12. (transitive, obsolete) To expect.
    13. (transitive, obsolete) To influence, overawe, or subdue by looks or presence.
      to look down opposition
      • John Dryden (1631-1700)A spirit fit to start into an empire,
        And look the world to law.




    (plural looks)
    1. The action of looking, an attempt to see.Let’s have a look under the hood of the car.
    2. (often plural) Physical appearance, visual impression.She got her mother’s looks.I don’t like the look of the new design.
    3. A facial expression.He gave me a dirty look.If looks could kill...


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