Meaning of “look” in the English Dictionary

"look" in British English

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uk /lʊk/ us /lʊk/

look verb (SEE)

A1 [ I ] to direct your eyes in order to see:

Look! There's grandma.
They looked at the picture and laughed.
Look at all these toys on the floor.
She looked up from her book and smiled at me.
I looked out (of) the window.
Look over there - there's a rainbow!

More examples

  • She heard a sudden noise behind her, and swung round to look behind her.
  • I wish you'd look at me when I'm trying to speak to you!
  • Be careful to look both ways when you cross the road.
  • She ambled down the street, stopping occasionally to look in the shop windows.
  • He slid the letter into his pocket while no one was looking.

look verb (SEARCH)

A1 [ I ] to try to find something or someone:

I'm looking for my keys.
I looked everywhere, but I couldn't find my glasses.
Have you looked in the dictionary?
I looked down the list but couldn't see his name.

More examples

  • She turned the vase over to look for the price.
  • You'd have found it if you'd bothered to look.
  • I bent down to look under the bed.
  • She ran her finger down the list, looking for her name.
  • There's that book you were looking for.

look verb (SEEM)

A2 [ L, I usually + adv/prep ] to appear or seem:

You look well!
The roads look very icy.
That dress looks nice on you.
He has started to look his age (= appear as old as he really is).
It's looking good (= things are going well).
He looked (like) a friendly sort of person.
The twins look just like their mother.
She looked as if/though she hadn't slept all night.
It looks like rain (= as if it is going to rain).

More examples

  • You look thoughtful.
  • You look lovely with your hair up.
  • The walls look a bit bare - can't we put some pictures up?
  • Those gloves look nice and warm.
  • When she came home from school she really didn't look well.

look verb (DIRECTION)

B2 [ I usually + adv/prep ] to face a particular direction:

The garden looks south.
This window looks out onto the lake.

More examples

  • The window looks onto the road.
  • The room looks North.
  • The meadow looks east.
  • All the statues look towards the fountain.
  • The drawing room looks south.


uk /lʊk/ us /lʊk/

look noun (WITH EYES)

B1 [ C ] the act of looking at someone or something:

She gave him a look of real dislike.
Take a (good) look at this picture and see if you recognize anyone.
Can I have a look at your dictionary?

More examples

  • I had a brief look at her report before the meeting.
  • She cast a quick look in the rear mirror.
  • Bring your baby to the clinic and we'll take a look at her.
  • May I have a look at your newspaper?" "Of course you can."
  • I took one look at her and burst out laughing.

look noun (SEARCH)

B1 [ C usually singular ] the act of trying to find someone or something:

I had another look for the watch, but couldn't find it.

More examples

  • I had a look for the book.
  • Have a good look in the cupboard.
  • You've got nits? Let's have a look.
  • I can have a look for the papers for you.
  • We'll need to have a good look round before we leave.

look noun (APPEARANCE)

B2 [ C ] an expression on someone's face:

She had a worried look about her.
She gave me a questioning look.

C1 [ C ] a style or fashion:

The look this year will be relaxed and casual.
the look of sb/sth

B2 the appearance of someone or something:

They liked the look of the hotel, but it was too expensive.
I don't like the look of that fence (= it appears to have something wrong with it).
sb's looks

C2 a person's appearance, especially how attractive they are:

I like her looks.
Her looks improved as she grew older.
He put on weight and started to lose his looks.


uk /lʊk/ us /lʊk/

(Definition of “look” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"look" in American English

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us /lʊk/

look verb (SEE)

[ I ] to direct your eyes in order to see:

Come look at what I’ve found.
She looked at her brother.
He looked out (of) the window of the bus.

look verb (SEARCH)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to try to find something:

Please help me look for my keys.
We looked everywhere but couldn’t find it.
I’ll look for a present for Tracy while I’m at the mall.

look verb (SEEM)

[ L ] to seem or appear to be:

The roads look icy.
That dress looks nice on you.
He looked friendly.
She looked like she hadn’t slept all night.
He has started to look his age (= appear as old as he really is).
It looks like (= It is likely that) we’ll be finished by January.
It looks like snow (= It seems likely to snow).

look verb (EXAMINE)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to examine or study, often quickly or informally:

Would you look over these numbers to see if I’ve made a mistake?
I don’t go there to shop – I just like to look around and see what they have.

look verb (FACE)

[ I ] to be in or view a particular direction; face:

The garden looks east.
The porch looks out over the lake.


us /lʊk/

look exclamation (GETTING ATTENTION)

used to get someone’s attention, often to express anger or annoyance:

Look, I’ve already told you that I’m not lending you any more money.


us /lʊk/

look noun (SEEM)

[ C ] an expression of the face, or a particular appearance:

a joyful/sad look
I didn’t like the look of the place and left as soon as I could.
[ pl ] He had good looks and lots of money.

(Definition of “look” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"look" in Business English

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lookverb [ I ]

uk /lʊk/ us
be looking to do sth

to plan to do something:

Many Hong Kong manufacturers are looking to expand in the UK market.
I'm just looking

said to a person working in a store when they offer to help you, but you want to continue looking at the products:

'Do you need any help?' 'I'm just looking, thank you.'
look good

if something such as business, news, or a plan looks good, you think that it will succeed or that something good might happen:

Margins are improving and the underlying business looks good.
Strategically the deal looks good.
never look back

to continue to be successful after having an earlier success:

He says: 'I applied, got the job, and have never looked back.'

(Definition of “look” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)