When you look, you focus your vision on someone or something. If you get to the movie late, you'll have to look for your friends in the darkened theater.

The Old English word locian is the root of look, meaning "see, gaze, or spy." When you look at something, you see it. Look can also describe how something appears, like when your dog looks sad, or something likely to happen, like a gray day that looks like rain. As a noun, look describes someone's style of dress, like your brother, whose rock star look gets lots of compliments — except from Grandpa.

Definitions of look
  1. verb
    perceive with attention; direct one's gaze towards
    “She looked over the expanse of land”
    Look at your child!”
    Look--a deer in the backyard!”
    see moresee less
    show 23 types...
    hide 23 types...
    fixate one's eyes
    get a load, have a look, take a look
    look at with attention
    look back, look backward
    look towards one's back
    look away
    avert one's gaze
    look around
    look about oneself
    gaze, stare
    look at with fixed eyes
    consider, regard
    look at attentively
    stare or look at, especially with amorous intentions
    give the glad eye
    look seductively at someone
    look suggestively or obliquely; look or gaze with a sly, immodest, or malign expression
    gape, gawk, gawp, goggle
    look with amazement; look stupidly
    look at with admiration
    look furtively
    glance, glint, peek
    throw a glance at; take a brief look at
    gaze at or think about something with great self-satisfaction, gratification, or joy
    eye, eyeball
    look at
    give the eye, give the once over
    look at with a critical eye
    be cross-eyed; have a squint or strabismus
    look searchingly
    (of the eyes) move over something in many directions in order to appraise or evaluate
    glare, glower
    look at with a fixed gaze
    outface, outstare, stare down
    overcome or cause to waver or submit by (or as if by) staring
    observe the stars
  2. verb
    look forward to the probable occurrence of
    synonyms: await, expect, wait
    anticipate, expect
    regard something as probable or likely
    see moresee less
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    look forward to the birth of a child
    look forward
    expect or hope for
    look to
    turn one's interests or expectations towards
    hang on, hold on, hold the line
    hold the phone line open
    anticipate, look for, look to
    be excited or anxious about
    apprehend, quail at
    anticipate with dread or anxiety
  3. noun
    the act of directing the eyes toward something and perceiving it visually
    “he went out to have a look
    “his look was fixed on her eyes”
    “he gave it a good looking at”
    “his camera does his looking for him”
    synonyms: looking, looking at
    see moresee less
    show 21 types...
    hide 21 types...
    coup d'oeil, gander, glance, glimpse
    a quick look
    a prolonged intense look
    peek, peep
    a secret look
    the act of squinting; looking with the eyes partly closed
    a fixed look with eyes open wide
    evil eye
    a look that is believed to have the power of inflicting harm
    rubber-necking, sightseeing
    going about to look at places of interest
    observance, observation, watching
    the act of observing; taking a patient look
    lookout, outlook
    the act of looking out
    sight, survey, view
    the act of looking or seeing or observing
    British slang for a look
    a radiant glance of the eye
    side-glance, side-look
    a glance sideways
    gaze, regard
    a long fixed look
    glare, glower
    an angry stare
    a long and thoughtful observation
    a stare of amazement (usually with the mouth open)
    the act of observing something (and sometimes keeping a record of it)
    the act of observing
    observation of the stars
    a full view; a good look
    type of:
    perception, sensing
    becoming aware of something via the senses
  4. verb
    give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect
    “This project looks fishy”
    synonyms: appear, seem
    see moresee less
    show 16 types...
    hide 16 types...
    appear to begin an activity
    give the appearance or impression of
    produce a certain impression
    pass off
    be accepted as something or somebody in a false character or identity
    appear in a certain way
    come across
    be perceived in a certain way; make a certain impression
    beam, glow, radiate, shine
    have a complexion with a strong bright color, such as red or pink
    gleam, glint, glisten, glitter, shine
    be shiny, as if wet
    jump, jump out, leap out, stand out, stick out
    be highly noticeable
    lift, rear, rise
    rise up
    come into view indistinctly, often threateningly
    be felt or perceived in a certain way
    glitter as if covered with spangles
    hulk, loom, predominate, tower
    appear very large or occupy a commanding position
    give off a shimmering reflection, as of silk
    feel as if crawling with insects
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  5. verb
    have a certain outward or facial expression
    “How does she look?”
    “The child looks unhappy”
    “She looked pale after the surgery”
    see moresee less
    partly close one's eyes, as when hit by direct blinding light
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  6. verb
    accord in appearance with
    “You don't look your age!”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    agree, check, correspond, fit, gibe, jibe, match, tally
    be compatible, similar, or consistent; coincide in their characteristics
  7. verb
    convey by one's expression
    “She looked her devotion to me”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make known; pass on, of information
  8. noun
    physical appearance
    “I don't like the looks of this place”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    appearance, visual aspect
    outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
  9. noun
    the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people
    synonyms: feel, feeling, flavor, flavour, smell, spirit, tone
    see moresee less
    a flashy vulgar tone or atmosphere believed to be characteristic of the American film industry
    the spirit of the time; the spirit characteristic of an age or generation
    type of:
    ambiance, ambience, atmosphere
    a particular environment or surrounding influence
  10. noun
    the feelings expressed on a person's face
    “a look of triumph”
    synonyms: aspect, expression, face, facial expression
    see moresee less
    a suggestive or sneering look or grin
    light, spark, sparkle, twinkle
    merriment expressed by a brightness or gleam or animation of countenance
    type of:
    countenance, visage
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
  11. verb
    search or seek
    “We looked all day and finally found the child in the forest”
    Look elsewhere for the perfect gift!”
    synonyms: search
    see moresee less
    search (an area) for prey
    search for something desirable
    horn in, intrude, nose, poke, pry
    search or inquire in a meddlesome way
    type of:
    examine, see
    observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
  12. verb
    be oriented in a certain direction, often with respect to another reference point; be opposite to
    “The house looks north”
    synonyms: face, front
    be opposite
    see moresee less
    be in back of
    be face to face with
    type of:
    be located or situated somewhere; occupy a certain position
  13. verb
    take charge of or deal with
    synonyms: attend, see, take care
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    attend to the wants and needs of others
    have care of or look after
    work in the garden
    tend as a shepherd, as of sheep or goats
    type of:
    care, give care
    provide care for
  14. verb
    have faith or confidence in
    Look to your friends for support”
    synonyms: bet, calculate, count, depend, reckon
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bank, rely, swear, trust
    have confidence or faith in
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week