- to fail to notice, perceive, or consider: to overlook a misspelled word.
- to disregard or ignore indulgently, as faults or misconduct: Only a parent could overlook that kind of behavior.
- to look over, as from a higher position: a balcony that overlooks the ballroom.
- to afford a view over; look down or out upon: a hill overlooking the sea.
- to rise above: The Washington Monument overlooks the tidal basin.
- to excuse; pardon: a minor infraction we can overlook this time.
- to look over in inspection, examination, or perusal: They allowed us to overlook the proposed contract.
- to look after, oversee, or supervise: She has to overlook a large number of employees.
- Archaic. to look upon with the evil eye; bewitch.
- terrain, as on a cliff, that affords an attractive vista or a good view: Miles of landscape could be seen from the overlook.
Origin of overlook
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for overlook
In the book, Tavris and Aronson argue that the same ability to overlook minor flaws in a marriage leads to overlooking major ones.Why Didn’t Camille Dump Bill Cosby?
December 17, 2014
Many were just eager to forget, absolve, or overlook serious accusations, simply because doing so would be hugely convenient.It’s Not Just Cosby: Hollywood’s Long List of Male Scumbags
November 19, 2014
But it is also a mistake to overlook some important differences.Opposing Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Crypto-Racist
April 24, 2014
In reading about ASHA, its current location is hard to overlook—Research Triangle, North Carolina.STI Awareness Month Is Nothing More Than a Hallmark Holiday for Condoms
April 18, 2014
Moments like these could cause ticket-buyers to squirm or, perhaps, reflect on their own capacity to overlook and forgive.Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Musical and the Moral Responsibility of an Artist
April 10, 2014
Our friend will overlook the matter if you do but say that you have acted in heat and haste.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
You might overlook the most important part of my paraphernalia; and really I am not damaged.Her Father's Daughter
It'll be an advantage if she is Irish, but I'll overlook it if she isn't.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
From the hill, we could overlook the river, and the adjacent country.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
We do not indeed justify her faults, but let us not overlook our own.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
- to fail to notice or take into account
- to disregard deliberately or indulgently
- to look at or over from abovethe garden is overlooked by the prison
- to afford a view of from abovethe house overlooks the bay
- to rise above
- to look after
- to look at carefully
- to bewitch or cast the evil eye upon (someone)
- a high place affording a view
- an act of overlooking
Word Origin and History for overlook
mid-14c., "to examine, scrutinize, inspect," from over- + look (v.). Another Middle English sense was "to peer over the top of." These two literal senses have given rise to the two main modern meanings. Meaning "to look over or beyond and thus not see," via notion of "to choose to not notice" is first recorded 1520s. Seemingly contradictory sense of "to watch over officially, keep an eye on, superintend" is from 1530s. Related: Overlooked; overlooking. In Shekaspeare's day, overlooking also was a common term for "inflicting the evil eye on" (someone or something).