Definition of look in English:

look

(also look here!)

verb

  • 1no 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 room’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I looked over a wall into a graveyard and found myself looking at the gravestone of one of Britain's finest women writers.’
    • ‘I looked to my right and saw James looking at me with a small smile on his face.’
    • ‘She looked away from the canopy to stare at Derek, who was looking at the picture.’
    • ‘He was looking at her but he looked away quickly when he realized he'd been caught.’
    • ‘Mitch looked over at her and smiled.’
    • ‘The man looked nervously in either direction, then down at his shirt.’
    • ‘Mother, too, paused in her work and looked questioningly over her shoulder.’
    • ‘I've never seen men look in the mirror so much.’
    • ‘I looked out of the window.’
    • ‘Brooke nudged him and looked pointedly in the direction of the man in the elevator with them.’
    • ‘The young boy looked at his watch and he started to run faster.’
    • ‘To my credit, I looked through the peephole before I let him in.’
    • ‘He said he looked through the window to check that the victim was all right and saw her move.’
    • ‘Check first to see who the caller is by looking through a window or a door viewer.’
    • ‘She looks into my eyes and something passes over her face.’
    • ‘Peggy looks up from her book and asks James what he was doing at the time.’
    • ‘Eventually the conversation breaks off, and the guy behind the counter looks up.’
    glance, gaze, stare, gape, peer, fix one's gaze, focus
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a building or room) have an outlook in a specified direction.
      ‘the room looks out over Mylor Harbour’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bedroom 5, which is currently used as a study, has a window looking out over open countryside to woodlands in the distance.’
      • ‘There is a conservatory that looks out on to a large walled garden.’
      • ‘Eventually I will live in the country with a vegetable patch and a studio that looks out into the bush.’
      • ‘It looks out over The Harbour, the Botanic Gardens and the symbolic, serrated sails of The Opera House.’
      • ‘The building's glass walls allow natural light to flood the studio, which looks out on to the famous playing fields.’
      • ‘My apartment looks out to the New Jersey turnpike and Silver Lake Park.’
      • ‘Solomon's office measures 15 feet square and looks out over a tree-lined road and a small park.’
      • ‘His office looks out over the busy metropolis.’
      • ‘A small balcony looks out over the village.’
      • ‘Your hotel room not only looks out over the African bush but it also has a sea view!’
      • ‘The sleek living room looks out on to a beautiful garden with mature trees, wisteria and a decked outdoor dining area.’
      • ‘The rear of the house looks out over a valley of fields, woods and a river.’
      • ‘It has a long meeting table and a smaller desk in the corner under a window, which looks out over the rooftops at the back of the station.’
      • ‘No other restaurant in New Jersey looks out over such a commanding view.’
      • ‘More elaborate fare is on offer back up the path at Hotel la Portilla, where the restaurant looks out over the sea.’
      • ‘The real gem is the large terrace that looks out onto the park behind the hotel.’
      • ‘He has built an office with a glass wall that looks out over the main staircase.’
      command a view, face, overlook, front
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2look throughIgnore (someone) by pretending not to see them.
      ‘he glanced up once but looked right through me’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Donna looked through me and didn't take my offered hand.’
      • ‘They just looked straight through her, pretending not to see her.’
      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
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    3. 1.3dated with object Express (something) by one's gaze.
      ‘Poirot looked a question’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4look something overwith object Inspect something with a view to establishing its merits.
      ‘they looked over a property in Great Marlborough Street’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were ready to look the aircraft over.’
      • ‘She looked it over, inspecting each inch.’
      • ‘I would assume that, when there is an error, people like you, people still in active service read the articles, get the information, and look it over closely.’
      • ‘Police Chief William Bratton, in full uniform, sidearm strapped to his belt, walks past the intersection and looks the situation over.’
      • ‘I will look them over and see what I can come up with.’
      • ‘I'm picking them up, much more deliberately, much more slowly, taking time to really look them over.’
      • ‘When you're done arguing, I'll look your answers over and see if they are correct.’
      • ‘A few children found themselves in a kind of involuntary competition, when strangers would come to look the children over and leave with the lucky ones, while the numbers of those left unselected gradually dwindled.’
      • ‘A man will come in a van once a fortnight from Glasgow to look the place over.’
      • ‘I said, kind of apologetically, ‘Hi, I've bought this house, and we're here to look it over.’’
      • ‘We don't know for sure at this point, but the fact that the prosecutor took two weeks to evaluate the evidence, to look it over and consider it, indicates, I think, that there's more to it than just the young woman's story.’
      • ‘E-mail me your work when you're done, and I'll look it over!’
      • ‘Why don't you leave a copy of your book here and we will look it over and get back to you?’
      • ‘And we're going to look it over together here through the next couple of days.’
      • ‘Then, have one of your English teachers at school look it over and give you some helpful tips.’
      • ‘One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over.’
      • ‘She sat in the living room of her apartment looking over the file she had been given the day before.’
      inspect, examine, check, monitor, read through, look through, scan, run through, cast an eye over, leaf through, flick through, flip through, browse, give someone a once-over, give someone the once-over, give something a once-over, give something the once-over, take stock of, view, peruse
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5look throughPeruse (a book or other written material)
      ‘we looked through all the books and this was still the one we liked best’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He asked for my license number, looked through his book, and found my car.’
      • ‘I was going to look through the book in my lunch hour, but of course I didn't get one…’
      • ‘Josie and his mum were sitting on the couch, looking through a book.’
      • ‘Jessica sat on the couch in her own room, looking through the book and making notes in her notebook.’
      • ‘She looked through her appointment book carefully for a few minutes.’
      • ‘I look through the book, and realize there's only one page with any writing on it.’
      • ‘A quick look through her books will give the impression that they are about food - as indeed, in a sense, they are.’
      • ‘I found a lot of information, so we can look through that and write the essay together.’
      • ‘With a sigh, he picked up his tattered spell book and started to look through it again.’
      • ‘It is ten times faster and much easier than looking through a long list searching for a state and country.’
      • ‘Mitch was ignoring him, making a big show of looking through the papers on his desk.’
      • ‘So we got the car magazines, looked through Auto Trader, checked the various web sites, and pretty much got caught up in the idea.’
      • ‘Once you have your style in mind, look through some cookbooks for a little inspiration.’
      • ‘They look through files and check that things are where they are supposed to be.’
      • ‘Anyone who wanders into a bookshop or looks through a publisher's catalogue is bound to bump into a new Companion.’
      • ‘While looking through her papers, her family discovered she was one of the first to investigate the use of the drug Tamoxifen in cancer care.’
      • ‘I spent yesterday evening looking through people's diaries again.’
      inspect, examine, check, monitor, read through, look something over, scan, run through, cast an eye over, leaf through, flick through, flip through, browse, give someone a once-over, give someone the once-over, give something a once-over, give something the once-over, take stock of, view, peruse
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6look round/aroundWalk round (a place or building) in order to view any interesting features.
      ‘he spent the day looking round Edinburgh’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I view the property, spending maybe ten minutes looking round the four rooms with the seller's mother.’
      • ‘He spent the morning looking around the market and said he was pleased that the weather had been dry.’
      • ‘Visitors to Ilkley will be able to look round the council chamber and view a display showing its history.’
      • ‘This weekend will be the last chance for visitors to look round the York Story museum before it closes on Sunday afternoon.’
      • ‘I took a look around the drab training centre.’
    7. 1.7with clause Ascertain with a quick glance.
      ‘people finishing work don't look where they're going’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2look at/onno object, usually with adverbial of direction Regard in a specified way.

    ‘I look at tennis differently from some coaches’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Should it ever snow again, sledging will have to be looked at in a different light.’
    • ‘The point of any literature is to make you think or to make you look at things in a different way.’
    • ‘His involvement in the music business is really looked on as a pastime from his own point of view.’
    • ‘He looks at things from a very practical point of view.’
    • ‘Desperate to escape her hometown for the bright lights, she looks on Heather as a stick-in-the-mud, as bad as her boyfriend.’
    • ‘I can see already that he looks on Lesley as a bottom feeder.’
    regard, consider, think of, deem, judge, count, see, view, take, reckon, believe to be
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    1. 2.1look atExamine (a matter) and consider what action to take.
      ‘a committee is looking at the financing of the BBC’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Policy making is one of the six areas of work being looked at under the Government review.’
      • ‘The survey also looked at some of the key issues in the enterprise software market.’
      • ‘We will start by looking at the new rules, and will then consider the old ones more briefly.’
      • ‘It is also looking at ways to reduce staff levels as part of a financial review.’
      • ‘The fund is split by the court and the judge will look at the pension in the context of all assets.’
      • ‘Each of the pilots looks at a different aspect of making it easier for small firms to support learning.’
      • ‘They said they had looked at different ways of fundraising and applying for grants.’
      • ‘We sat down and looked at different ways of raising money and this will be a popular one.’
      • ‘A date has not yet been set for the hearing and a judge is reported to be looking at the case.’
      inspect, survey, scrutinize, look at, look into, inquire into, study, investigate, scan, sift, delve into, dig into, explore, probe, check out, consider, appraise, weigh, weigh up, analyse, review, vet
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    2. 2.2look intoInvestigate.
      ‘the police looked into his business dealings’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Police are looking into the incident, but the dog is not expected to be put down.’
      • ‘The documentary looks into the latest research, and demonstrates what vitamins do to the body when taken in supplement form.’
      • ‘A fire investigation officer at the scene said they are still looking into what caused the fire.’
      • ‘Police representatives confirmed that they would be looking into the problem.’
      • ‘In the 1960s he set up a research team which looked into the problems of football hooliganism.’
      • ‘The research, to be carried out over the next five years, looks into the impact of climate change on businesses and local authorities.’
      • ‘He has been forced to try and find a residential buyer for the property, while the parish council looks into alternatives for providing a post office.’
      • ‘A section of the report looks into reopening Otley Railway Station.’
      • ‘The film also looks into what may be the root of the racial tension that exists between these two groups today.’
      • ‘The Herald contacted the company for a comment, but it was still looking into the problem as the paper went to press.’
      • ‘A spokeswoman for the council said it was looking into the latest situation.’
      • ‘They should have been delivered leaflets via the Royal Mail and we are looking into why this has not happened.’
      • ‘Mr Bill Addison was looking into the question of grants, but none would be available before April.’
      • ‘He said he was looking into the case and was in contact with the Home Office.’
      • ‘The Government is looking into making second-home owners pay the full amount of council tax.’
      • ‘They added they were looking into two earlier deaths to determine whether they were caused by the disease.’
      investigate, explore, research, inquire about, make inquiries about, find out about, ask questions about, ask about
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    3. 2.3usually look forAttempt to find.
      ‘Howard has been looking for you’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Last time I borrowed one of her shoes she ripped apart my room looking for them.’
      • ‘I was looking for some information about the history of the House of Commons.’
      • ‘It looked like it was going to be one of those trips when we found everything but the grater I was looking for.’
      • ‘When we were looking for girls for the band we didn't care what they looked like.’
      • ‘Here we are, wandering lost in the woods, looking for anything that looked like a path.’
      • ‘Cathy and Judy had gone off looking for plants that looked like they could be eaten.’
      • ‘It looked like Mitchell was looking for a good place to stop and that was it.’
      • ‘She appeared to be looking for someone outside.’
      • ‘They also want to speak to a stranger who appeared to be looking for her just four hours before she went missing.’
      search for, hunt for, seek, look about for, look around for, look round for, cast about for, cast around for, cast round for, try to find, try to track down, forage for, scout out, quest after, quest for
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  • 3no object, usually with adverbial of direction and 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 bloke’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The blonde girl looked a bit confused, as did her friends.’
    • ‘I saw a few guys there looking confused like me.’
    • ‘In front of Cordelia was a building that looked way too old to belong in Los Angeles.’
    • ‘He was tall and skinny, and looked way too young to be a policeman.’
    • ‘It looks as if it's going to be a bumper year, looking at the amount of fruit on the boughs.’
    • ‘She looked at her friends who weren't even looking at her, they looked so ashamed.’
    • ‘She looked so happy that he thought he could just stand there, looking at her forever.’
    • ‘While the school building looks intact, the floors are damaged and many windows are broken and will need to be replaced.’
    • ‘Mainly constructed of wood, with two small swimming pools on both sides, the room looks spacious.’
    • ‘Sadly, the building looks a little neglected since the school moved out last year.’
    • ‘Some of the older buildings are looking a little bit tired and we are hoping this project will give them a new lease of life.’
    • ‘The design was also altered so that the buildings looked more traditional and conventional.’
    • ‘The flowers are lovely and they are sitting in vases, making our sitting room look beautiful.’
    • ‘From the outside the building looked old, possibly one of the oldest in the town.’
    • ‘He looked alert, raising hopes he was making progress following the surgery.’
    • ‘Forcing herself to get up, she sat back on the edge of the table, hoping she looked calm.’
    • ‘Susan has rounded up four official-looking people to be judges and the contest begins.’
    seem, seem to be, appear, appear to be, have the air of being, have the appearance of being, give the impression of being, give every appearance of being, give every indication of being, look to be, present as being, strike someone as being
    resemble, 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 the hallmarks of, have all the hallmarks of, simulate
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    1. 3.1look likeinformal 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 Liverpool’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We look like we can score at any time now and we are looking dangerous from both set pieces and open play.’
      • ‘In the second half it looked like we were going to score all most every time we got the ball.’
      • ‘It looks like there might be a battle.’
      • ‘The high winds arrived late in the evening and it looks like being a stormy night.’
      • ‘It looks like motorcycle bandits might attack if you are on a moped on the island.’
      • ‘As with most great money saving ideas, it looks like it could end up costing more in the long run.’
      • ‘The club was opened by the Conservatives and it looks like Labour are going to close it.’
      • ‘Britain was the last to join the Airbus party, and now it looks like it will be the first to leave.’
      • ‘It looks like the turnout for today's General Election is going to be up on the last one.’
      • ‘I had a really busy week this week, and it looks like things might only get more hectic.’
      • ‘Finally, she runs out of words and it looks like it is now my turn to practice my vocabulary.’
      • ‘It looks like they may have to start from scratch and it could set the opening back more than a year.’
      • ‘I like peace and quiet, but it looks like I will have to live in a big city to find them.’
      • ‘On the basis that they have to be right one day, it looks like they're right this time.’
      • ‘I think of myself as one of those guys that every time they putt, it looks like it might go in.’
      • ‘It looks like Sir Seton Wills has come to our aid yet again and for that we must be grateful.’
      • ‘It looks like the spike is finally over and a kind of normality seems to have returned.’
    2. 3.2look oneselfAppear one's normal, healthy self.
      ‘he just didn't look himself at all’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The horse did not look himself before the race, and in retrospect he should not have taken part.’
      • ‘As predicted, form went out the window in this game, in which the stylish Slovaks never looked themselves against their Czech neighbours.’
  • 4look tono object, usually with adverbial of direction Rely on (someone) to do or provide something.

    ‘she will look to you for help’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When things do go wrong, all passengers rely on them and look to them for guidance.’
    • ‘I have looked to you for assistance and guidance and you have provided both.’
    • ‘In an emergency the mother looks to you for confidence - that's a key thing we try to teach junior midwives.’
    • ‘We are by far the most powerful nation on earth, and the world looks to us for leadership on this issue.’
    • ‘A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendez-vous with destiny.’
    • ‘The public looks to them for unbiased information.’
    • ‘Mongolia's new Prime Minister looks to New Zealand for political advice.’
    • ‘Danielsen looks to Eastern Europe and Asia for inspiration, championing films that have no British distribution prospects and may never be seen here again.’
    • ‘He looks to St Lucia's natural beauty for inspiration for his colourful acrylic paintings.’
    • ‘The student looks to Bill Murray for help, and they both end up battling for the girl.’
    • ‘Selling beautiful handmade jewellery which looks to Japan and North Africa for its inspiration, the internationally known designer creates everything herself.’
    • ‘Scotland often looks to Ireland as a benchmark but the popularity of their provinces is a relatively recent phenomenon notwithstanding the odd day of glory against the All Blacks.’
    • ‘At a time when the world looks to India for leadership, we should draw upon our rich resources of tradition, heritage and culture, in order to shape a better world.’
    • ‘Mrs Jacobs has lived in Australia for 30 years, but still looks to Lancashire for inspiration and storylines.’
    turn to, resort to, have recourse to, fall back on, avail oneself of, make use of
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    1. 4.1with infinitive Hope or expect to do something.
      ‘universities are looking to expand their intakes’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At one stage last year the company was looking to expand and buy the other hangar.’
      • ‘Kerry and John are now looking to buy a family home and Kerry is hoping to start driving lessons.’
      • ‘The world is awash with money as everyone looks to make a decent return at a time of low interest rates and low inflation.’
      • ‘He fans to be patient as he looks to get his career back on track.’
      • ‘Thompson was set to give reserve team debuts to three more players as he looks to strengthen his squad.’
      • ‘If we carry on with the same attitude and commitment we will be looking to pick up more points tomorrow.’
      • ‘Mr Ellis had set up a training consultancy in Bath and the couple were looking to move out of London.’
      • ‘A spokesman for the company said it is looking to hold an open public meeting as soon as possible.’
      • ‘Now the firm is looking to cash in on its success with a major marketing push.’
      • ‘The report urges caution in the siting of the masts and that is all we are looking to achieve.’
      • ‘The church is looking to secure grants to proceed further with the redevelopment.’
      • ‘The team will be looking to improve a poor home record of one win in six games.’
      • ‘As the trek is in November, she is now looking to raise as much extra money as possible for the charity.’
      consider, give thought to, think about, turn one's thoughts to, take heed of, pay attention to, attend to, mind, heed
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    2. 4.2archaic with clause Take care; make sure.
      ‘Look ye obey the masters of the craft’
      • ‘Look that you behave well to him.’

noun

  • 1An act of directing one's gaze in order to see someone or something.

    ‘let me get a closer look’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He seemed on edge and nervous, returning her looks with reassuring gazes that were none too convincing.’
    • ‘He laughed at the looks directed his way for the teasing, then went upstairs.’
    • ‘Security personnel had to struggle a bit to restrain those who wanted to surge forward and have a closer look.’
    • ‘Every now and then someone would appear, but most of them didn't want books, they wanted a photograph or a closer look.’
    • ‘Pull over to the side of the road for a closer look, and you will find these seals amiable enough to photograph.’
    • ‘Tom had brought his patrol vehicle so the children could have a closer look.’
    • ‘So this morning I took my binoculars into the garden to try and get a closer look.’
    • ‘On the way back they'd spotted a car on a forecourt so we all had to trundle back over there for a closer look.’
    • ‘During the day, if they wish, they can have a closer look behind the stage on one of the regular tours that take place.’
    • ‘If the plants generally look good to you, pick up a few likely specimens and have a closer look.’
    • ‘That didn't stop her from sneaking looks at both Sam and Rosie as she pretended to be studying the menu.’
    • ‘He cast a quick look over his shoulder.’
    • ‘Perhaps you would like a closer look?’
    • ‘One look in the mirror, two days later, and I was horrified.’
    • ‘We went and had a look - it appeared to be very old, but the safety pin was out so that in the interests of safety we had to cordon off the Square.’
    • ‘I had a look in the mirror earlier, and, although you might not believe this, I was even whiter than usual.’
    • ‘There must be scores of former tenants who would welcome a look inside before modernisation.’
    glance, observation, view, examination, study, inspection, scan, survey, sight, peep, peek, glimpse, gaze, stare, gape, ogle
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    1. 1.1An expression of a feeling or thought by looking.
      ‘the orderly gave me a funny look’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The cynical, bored and disinterested looks on the faces of the athletes should have sent a big message.’
      • ‘To see him with such a pained worried look in his eyes; my heart gave a light twinge.’
      • ‘The pleading, concerned look in his eyes overwhelmed me.’
      • ‘Her parents both gave her stern questioning looks.’
      • ‘After taking a step back from him, she noticed the puzzled look crossing his face.’
      • ‘He cast a dirty look over his shoulder, then stopped by us.’
      • ‘The two teenagers wore worried looks upon their faces.’
      • ‘Another moan of terror brings him out of his reverie and he casts a worried look in her direction.’
      • ‘I glanced at Julia to exchange a look of disgust and found a strange expression on her face.’
      • ‘Stefan couldn't help but notice my look of disgust.’
      • ‘I was greeted by my father's look of confusion as I finished my task.’
      • ‘He saw his mother's look of disapproval, but chose to ignore it.’
      • ‘I looked up to the transmitter controller who had a look of complete disbelief.’
      • ‘Sam's eyes were on her, a look of confusion on his face.’
      • ‘She looked at Misha a little closer, and a look of pure fear crossed her face.’
      • ‘Nicola and Caden exchanged worried looks before meeting her gaze, still not believing her.’
      • ‘Instead her sympathetic looks were directed towards his back.’
      expression, mien
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    2. 1.2A scrutiny or examination.
      ‘the government should take a look at the amount of grant the council receives’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While attendance may seem decent at first glance, a closer look reveals very few students.’
      • ‘They then ask the reader to take a closer look, reflecting the in-depth analysis in the articles.’
      • ‘This is one of the most interesting and unusual chapters in the history of town twinning and therefore deserves a closer look.’
      • ‘The professions that we idealize and aspire towards deserve a closer look as well.’
      • ‘The Healthcare Commission should also reserve the right to take a closer look, randomly as well as responsively.’
      • ‘Its originality makes it worth a look; its brilliant cast and perfect soundtrack ensure this is a film not to miss.’
  • 2The appearance of someone or something, especially as expressing a particular quality.

    ‘the bedraggled look of the village’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And yes, in spite of their glowering looks and fierce demeanor, owls can be endearing.’
    • ‘Hand-made, their creations manage to retain the natural look, texture and colour.’
    • ‘The building has been given a new look with two brightly coloured murals.’
    • ‘The even better news is that bathroom accessories can be spray painted in the same colour for a co-ordinated look.’
    • ‘She worked closely with athletes to ensure that the look of a garment never hindered its performance.’
    • ‘They are allowed to go in for the rustic look, like rope effect seats.’
    • ‘Coral, blue, brick red and yellow combine to lend a rustic look to versatile garments.’
    • ‘So when lawn edges become overgrown and tatty, it can have an adverse effect on the look of the whole garden.’
    • ‘Headteacher Nick Capstick will be examining the new look later today.’
    • ‘Currently I am testing out a new look for the blog which seems to be an improvement on the default template.’
    • ‘It has a bit of an old-fashioned look compared to some of its more dynamic rivals though, and this makes it harder to use in places.’
    • ‘The game has been designed for family viewing and has the look of an animated film.’
    • ‘These vintage cars and motorcycles have retained their good looks and grace, though long past their prime.’
    • ‘It's possibly the most accurate adaptation of a comic you'll get, in terms of the visual look and the narrative style.’
    • ‘Angry householders have claimed the historic look of their community is being ruined by the removal of cobblestones.’
    • ‘These kitchen accessories will add a modern look to any kitchen.’
    • ‘Mr. Scanlon is planning extensive renovations to give the premises a modern look.’
    appearance, air, aspect, bearing, cast, manner, mien, demeanour, features, semblance, guise, facade, impression, effect
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1looksA person's facial appearance considered aesthetically.
      ‘he had charm, good looks, and an amusing insouciance’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Talent and good looks rarely go hand in hand, and often when they do, it's the talent which gets elbowed into the background.’
      • ‘He envied his good looks, his talent, and the amount of attention he got.’
      • ‘It was only after Eva started entering beauty contests that people began to notice her good looks.’
      • ‘The eating disorder transformed the schoolgirl with model looks into a wasted figure and she began to suffer bone disease and kidney failure.’
      • ‘He used his looks to dazzle girls and was seeing up to four young women at one time.’
      • ‘He shows her as a politician who relied too much on her looks to get what she wants.’
      • ‘It's commonly said that you are what you eat, and it might also be true that your looks are a direct reflection of your diet.’
      • ‘With his blue-eyed gaze and daredevil looks, she knew this man was a force to be reckoned with.’
      • ‘Lucy was perfect, blonde hair, not a hair out of place, tall, model looks and a friendly expression.’
      • ‘None of the guys that I had kissed before could compare in that department, nor could they compare in looks.’
      • ‘What he lacks in terms of looks, he more than makes up for with charisma.’
      • ‘Disliking one's looks appears to be more of a risk factor for boys than for girls.’
      • ‘Although they're practically perfect for the roles in terms of looks and demeanor, they bring nothing to the film.’
      • ‘With his dark curly hair and atypical looks, he was cast as Shakespeare's Richard III.’
      • ‘Indeed given their looks, wealth and position, it is almost remarkable that none of them ever went through a wild or rebellious phase.’
      • ‘He is more famous in some quarters for his looks and fashion style than for his political programme.’
      • ‘While admired for her looks and style, the empress never enjoyed the same degree of popularity as her husband.’
    2. 2.2A style or fashion.
      ‘Italian designers unveiled their latest look’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Classic monochrome style proved the look of the day, as racegoers rose to the challenge of the weather.’
      • ‘No fashion look becomes a trend, of course, unless it is widely adopted.’
      • ‘If these looks stay in fashion for the rest of my life I will never go out of fashion.’
      • ‘The March editions of Esquire, GQ and Arena are usually the fashion issues devoted to the new season's looks and trends.’
      • ‘You can experiment with trying on clothes, not to buy them, but to explore unlikely styles and looks.’
      • ‘This season's hottest fashion look is judged incomplete without a trio of large, colourful brooches.’
      • ‘Check out these summer looks from the Replay fashion book I picked up in Barcelona.’
      • ‘At the month's end there was much excitement as I unveiled my new look to the world.’
      • ‘Their job is to translate these trends into a look which is up-to-the-minute, yet wearable and affordable.’
      • ‘This season, the unadorned look is more in vogue than ever in France.’
      • ‘However, Kennelly says those who want to just flirt with the trend can get the look without having to splash much cash.’
      • ‘The new trend for a 1950s look is creeping in, accompanied by fuller skirts and wide belts.’
      • ‘Tina keeps up to date with trends in nail art and promises she can do any look a customer might see in a magazine.’
      • ‘It's a look most women over 35 would think twice about and then discard.’
      • ‘Here, we've put together three stylish casual looks to illustrate the kinds of clothes on offer.’
      • ‘It's also worth considering the kaftan, one of the most flattering looks to emerge from gypsy chic.’
      fashion, style, vogue, mode, trend, fad, craze, rage, mania
      View synonyms

exclamation

  • Used to call attention to what one is going to say.

    ‘‘Look, this is ridiculous.’’
    • ‘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 here, John, you and I know this country likes to see decisiveness.’
    • ‘So I look Richards in the eye, and say ‘Now look here, you're not together, man.’’
    • ‘Hey look here, loving my part time job doesn't mean I am proud of it.’
    • ‘It may well be, but look here - if you don't like something, then don't do it.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure I heard the Chairman begin to say ‘Now look here…’’
    • ‘‘Oh and look, here's me and my friend Amy,’ Sarah said laughing at two girls in cheerleading uniforms.’
    • ‘Now, look here, I'm serious about that.’
    • ‘But look here, this rail is so ground down that there's only a narrow gap.’
    • ‘Now look here… we haven't known each other for twenty-four hours, and you want me to be your princess bride?’
    • ‘‘Now look here Bee - you can't sing - all you are doing is making a buzzing noise’.’

Phrases

    look one's age
    • Appear to be as old as one really is.

      ‘she knew she didn't look her age’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In a film dealing with our obsession with youth and beauty, it's refreshing to see an actress who actually looks her age.’
      • ‘He admits that for the first time in his life he is looking his age, and that he finds this rather galling.’
      • ‘He said: ‘All of the teenagers used in the test looked their age.’’
      • ‘I am blessed with good genes, none of my family look their age.’
      • ‘He doesn't look his age and says that he feels and has the outlook of a younger man.’
      • ‘For the first time in years she thought he looked his age.’
    look before you leap
    proverb
    • You shouldn't act without first considering the possible consequences or dangers.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead, your friends and I usually waste breath exhorting you to exercise some restraint and look before you leap.’
      • ‘Dad… didn't anyone ever tell you to look before you leap?’
      • ‘Moral of the story is, next time look before you leap.’
      • ‘The decision on where you base yourself needs to be carefully considered, taking into account costs, competition and access - as is the case every step of the way, look before you leap!’
      • ‘They may help you reach a decision - but look before you leap.’
      • ‘Someone didn't realise that you must look before you leap.’
      • ‘Obviously it helps to know the background before you jump into the middle of a season, so look before you leap.’
    look down one's nose at
    • Regard (someone) with a feeling of superiority.

      ‘when he occasionally pops down, it is to look down his nose at local people’
    look sharp
    • Be quick.

      ‘well, look sharp then, or else you'll keep Jos waiting’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Look sharp. The tide is coming in!’
      • ‘‘Look sharp everyone!’ He said. ‘Here he comes.’’
    look the other way
    • Deliberately ignore wrongdoing by others.

      ‘the authorities simply seem content to look the other way’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have looked the other way for too long.’
      • ‘A police chief and a captain are accused of looking the other way when female police department employees were sexually harassed.’
    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 eye’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I see no reason why viewers should not enjoy a scholar simply looking them in the eye and talking straight.’
      • ‘If Lydia ever thought you knew, she'd be too embarrassed to ever look you in the face again.’
      • ‘I was too embarrassed to look Alex in the face.’
      • ‘‘It's not over yet,’ she murmured, still not brave enough to look me in the face.’
      • ‘At least I could look him in the eye and tell him straight out that he can't hurt me anymore.’
      • ‘I like somebody that looks me in the eye when I ask a question.’
      • ‘David has trouble looking you in the eye, has a stutter and hasn't yet got the hang of speaking on the phone.’
    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 future’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The most important thing is to live in the present and look to the future, not always back at the past.’
      • ‘The essence of New Year celebrations is renewal - putting the past behind and looking to the future.’
    look lively
    informal
    • usually in imperative Move more quickly and energetically.

      ‘‘Look lively, men!’ Charlie shouted’
    look someone up and down
    • Scrutinize someone carefully.

      ‘Fen looked her up and down consideringly before answering’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The man looked her up and down as though checking her condition.’
      • ‘‘Oh,’ he said in a dismissive tone, looking me up and down.’
      • ‘One of the gang members looked Jones up and down as he walked over.’
      • ‘He looked me up and down. ‘You have something to say?’’
      • ‘The bouncer stopped me, looked me up and down, frowned slightly and said, ‘Are you on the guest-list, sir?’’
      • ‘The woman serving looked me up and down, then asked for ID.’
      • ‘The lady of the house opened the door, looked me up and down and started giggling.’
    look alive
    informal, dated
    • usually in imperative Move more quickly and energetically.

      ‘look alive out there Robbie!’

Phrasal Verbs

    look back
    • with negative Suffer a setback or interrupted progress.

      ‘she launched her own company in 1981 and has never looked back’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When I moved down to London I sold my car like a shot, and I've not looked back since.’
      • ‘A few months later he won his first national title in the 400 meter free, and he hasn't looked back since.’
    look down on
    • Regard (someone) with a feeling of superiority.

      ‘my mother had social pretensions and looked down on most of our neighbours’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Why is it that parents are looked down on if they put their child in daycare, but stay at home moms also get looked down on?’
      • ‘Who now remembers when clothes catalogues were looked down on as merely a way of buying basic items by instalment?’
      • ‘A woman smoking on the street would be looked down on.’
      • ‘Since the seventh grade I have been looked down on for something that I cannot change.’
      • ‘She had never felt so disliked and looked down on before in her life.’
      • ‘He despised his father for looking down on his mother and for neglecting Lynn.’
      • ‘Melanie does everything wrong and everyone looks down on her, even the doormen in her building.’
    look back at/on
    • Think of (past events)

      ‘don't waste time looking back on things which have caused you distress’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘I've really made a mess of things, I reflected, looking back on the day's events.’
      • ‘I think looking back on your past experiences and failures is useful only if you learn from this experience and ensure that you do not make the same mistake again.’
      • ‘When you look back on past romances, do you ever wonder what you saw in a former lover?’
      • ‘We can look back at events through history and determine exactly how they came about.’
      • ‘Rev Ashworth has spent the past 22 years at St Margaret's, in St Margaret's Road, a time which he looks back on with fondness.’
      • ‘He afforded himself a little smile as he looked back on how his company has grown.’
      • ‘It is also a time for reflection, looking back on the year we have just had and forward to what will be.’
    look after
    • Take care of.

      ‘women who stay at home to look after children’
      • ‘Patients will be treated on a day care basis and be looked after by a team of specialist eye nurses.’
      • ‘She also looked after and nursed her mother for many years up to the time of her death.’
      • ‘Henrietta looks after her horses with tender loving care and knows how to do a good training job.’
      • ‘He had told police colleagues he could not attend because he was looking after a sick relative.’
      • ‘My wife, Tracy, is a part-time student and she looks after William, our three-year-old.’
      • ‘A society is judged by how it looks after the people who are most vulnerable.’
      • ‘He works hard all day and then he looks after his children at night.’
      • ‘There are about 60,000 children and young people who are looked after by local authorities in England.’
      • ‘As parents, we often spend all our time looking after everyone else in the family and forget about ourselves.’
    look forward to
    • Await eagerly.

      ‘we look forward to seeing you’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How is it that things one looks forward to for so long are over so quickly?’
      • ‘The annual musical is the highlight of the year and is looked forward to by music lovers all over the county.’
      • ‘He ripped out his old kitchen, took it to the tip and looked forward to quickly installing the new units.’
      • ‘What I looked forward to most was waiting for the train to make one of its weekly trips into town.’
      • ‘The club is something they look forward to, where they can meet friends on a regular basis.’
      • ‘After all, they have the birth of their baby to look forward to in four months' time.’
      • ‘We can now look forward to the final and hope that the lads can keep up the momentum.’
    look in
    • Make a short visit or call.

      ‘I will look in on you tomorrow’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘On the way back I looked in on Monreale cathedral.’
      • ‘I want to look in on my friend and see how she's doing.’
    look on
    • Watch without getting involved.

      ‘Cameron was looking on and making no move to help’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That's why it matters if we simply look on as the dignity of one of our number is traded.’
      • ‘He positioned himself on the couch watching the documentary with glee with Jocelyn looking on with displeasure.’
      • ‘There are young tigers frolicking in and out of the pools provided for them in their pens, and it's a pleasure to watch them and their mums looking on from next door.’
    look out
    • usually in imperative Be vigilant and take notice.

      ‘‘Look out!’ warned Billie, seeing a movement from the room beyond’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As she lived and worked in the rainforest of Ecuador, she had to look out for poisonous snakes, insects and plants.’
      • ‘Look out for signs of disease.’
    look something out
    British
    • Search for and produce something.

      ‘I've got a catalogue somewhere and I'll look it out if you're interested’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Twenty years after falling in love with this record I looked it out for George to hear and, like me, he loved it.’
      • ‘As I was asking the assistant to look them out in my size the manager of the store emerged from the back room.’
    look up
    • (of a situation) improve.

      ‘things seemed to be looking up at last’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He'd just got a new flat and a girlfriend and things were really looking up.’
      • ‘Forecasters say things could be looking up for local residents.’
      • ‘In terms of pace, mind you, things are at long last looking up for Scotland, even behind the scrum.’
      • ‘So things are looking up these days, really.’
      • ‘Business is looking up.’
      • ‘I think things are looking up now, so fingers crossed there should be more posts.’
      • ‘To be fair, things had been looking up on the children's story front before Dahl arrived.’
    look someone up
    informal
    • Make social contact with someone.

      ‘he would look her up when he was in the area’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alena accepted the invitation to look him up when she came on her planned visit to Dawson that summer.’
      • ‘I said I was an old friend and I'd come to visit York and wanted to look him up.’
      • ‘If you're in Berlin, promise to look us up.’
      • ‘Do look us up again when you are in America - perhaps next year.’
      • ‘If you are every going through central Kentucky look me up.’
      • ‘We have got a young chef just starting college and Anthony gave him his number and asked him to look him up if he was in the area, which made his day.’
      • ‘I'd lost touch with him, and was meaning to look him up.’
    look up to
    • Have a great deal of respect for (someone)

      ‘he needed a model, someone to look up to’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is the kind of person that people want to look up to and respect as a leader.’
      • ‘Barry has always been a hero to me, someone to look up to and admire!’
      • ‘It has been brought home to us how much of a local person Clive was and he was very much looked up to by the customers and his friends.’
      • ‘She was really one of the old aristocratic school who everybody looked up to.’
      • ‘We need people we can look up to in order to make sense of our own lives.’
      • ‘They are players that the younger lads look up to and most importantly learn from.’
      • ‘Those were days when teachers were looked up to and discipline was strict.’
    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 dictionaries’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Later on, I'd look the book up online and see what sort of reviews it received, and then decide whether or not to buy it online.’
      • ‘I needed to return some books and look something up on the internet.’
      • ‘I can remember my schoolteacher telling me to look a word up in the dictionary.’
      • ‘I have to confess that my English wasn't good enough to know the meaning of this word so I had to look it up in the dictionary.’
      • ‘This straightforward organisation makes it easy to look things up, cross-reference and navigate one's way through the book.’
      • ‘I tried to look it up in a drug reference book, but I could not find it.’
      • ‘If one wanted some information about a subject, a staff member could look it up in an index and go retrieve the information.’

Origin

Old English lōcian (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to German dialect lugen.

Pronunciation

look

/lʊk/