look
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /lʊk/
  • (some Northern Enɡlish dialects, esp. Bolton) IPA: /luːk/
  • (Liverpool usually) IPA: /luːx/

Verb

look (looks, present participle looking; past and past participle looked)

  1. To try to see, to pay attention to with one’s eyes.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:look
    1. (intransitive) As an intransitive verb, often with "at".
      troponyms en
      They kept looking at me.
      Don’t look in the closet.
    2. (transitive, colloquial) As a transitive verb, often in the glossary imperative mood; chiefly takes glossary relative clause as direct object.
      Look what you did to him!
      Look who's back!
  2. To appear, to seem.
    It looks as if it’s going to rain soon.
    • circa 1701–03 Joseph Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. ↗, Dedication:
      THERE is a pleaſure in owning obligations which it is a pleaſure to have received; but ſhould I publiſh any favours done me by your Lordſhip, I am afraid it would look more like vanity, than gratitude.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
      So this was my future home, I thought! […] Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
    • 2012, Chelsea 6-0 Wolves ↗
      Chelsea'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.
    • 1769, Benjamin Blayney (editor), King James Version, Oxford standard text, Ezekiel, xi, 1,
      Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD's house, which looketh eastward:
  6. To expect or anticipate.
    I look to each hour for my lover’s arrival.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Fairie Queene, Book VI, Canto XI, 1750, The Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume 4, [https://books.google.com.au/books?id=PyxMAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA139&dq=%22looking+each+hour+into+death%27s+mouth+to+fall%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjTjumR2vLZAhVSOZAKHTDnBAMQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=%22looking%20each%20hour%20into%20death's%20mouth%20to%20fall%22&f=false page 139],
      Looking each Hour into Death's Mouth to fall,
  7. (transitive) To express or manifest by a look.
    • circa 1815 Lord Byron, Waterloo,
      Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
  8. (transitive, often, with "to") To make sure of, to see to.
    • 1898, Samuel Butler (translator), Homer, The Odyssey,
      "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 [i.e. lean out] while I speak to you.
    • circa 1592 William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, Scene 2, 1831, George Steevens (editor), The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare, [Publication of the copy annotated by Steevens], Volume 1, page 254 ↗,
      I have […] more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather.
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To look at; to turn the eyes toward.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0045 ↗:
      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.
    • circa 1552–1599 Edmund Spenser, unidentified sonnet,
      Looking my love, I go from place to place, / Like a young fawn that late hath lost the hind; / And seek each where, where last I saw her face, / Whose image yet I carry fresh in mind.
  12. (transitive, obsolete) To influence, overawe, or subdue by looks or presence.
    to look down opposition
    • 1692, John Dryden, Cleomenes the Spartan Hero, a Tragedy, Act 3, Scene 1, 1701, The Comedies, Tragedies, and Operas Written by John Dryden, Esq, Volume 2, [https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zehWAAAAcAAJ&pg=RA1-PA464&dq=%22A+spirit+fit+to+start+into+an+empire,+And+look+the+world+to+law.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwjsH0nvPZAhWHqJQKHacPACsQ6AEITTAH#v=onepage&q=%22A%20spirit%20fit%20to%20start%20into%20an%20empire%2C%20And%20look%20the%20world%20to%20law.%22&f=false page 464],
      A Spirit fit to start into an Empire, / And look the World to Law.
    • , Heart and Science
      Ovid might have evaded her entreaties by means of an excuse. But her eyes were irresistible: they looked him into submission in an instant.
  13. (baseball) To look at a pitch as a batter without swinging at it.
    The fastball caught him looking.
    Clem Labine struck Mays out looking at his last at bat.
    It's unusual for Mays to strike out looking. He usually takes a cut at it.
Conjugation