verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- general aspect; appearance: to like the looks of a place.
- attractive, pleasing appearance.
- to follow with the eye, as someone or something moving away: She looked after him as he walked toward the train station.
- to pay attention to; concern oneself with: to look after one's own interests.
- to take care of; minister to: to look after a child.
- to seek; search for: Columbus was looking for a shorter route to India when he discovered America.
- to anticipate; expect: I'll be looking for you at the reception.
- Also look into. to look briefly inside of: Look in the jar and tell me if any cookies are left.
- Also look in on. to visit (a person, place, etc.) briefly: I'll look in some day next week.
- to be a spectator; watch: The crowd looked on at the street brawl.
- to consider; regard: They look upon gambling as sinful.
- to look to the outside, as from a window or a place of observation: From her office window, she could look out over the bustling city.
- to be vigilant or on guard: Look out, there are dangers ahead.
- to afford a view; face: The room looks out on the garden.
- to direct one's glance or gaze to: If you look to your left, you can see the Empire State Building.
- to pay attention to: Look to your own affairs and stay out of mine.
- to direct one's expectations or hopes to: We look to the day when world peace will be a reality.
- to regard with expectation and anticipation: We look to the future and greater advances in science and technology.
- to direct the eyes upward; raise one's glance: The other guests looked up as she entered the room.
- to become better or more prosperous; improve: Business is looking up.
- to search for, as an item of information, in a reference book or the like: Look up the answer in the encyclopedia.
- to seek out, especially to visit: to look up an old friend.
- Nautical. (of a sailing ship) to head more nearly in the direction of its destination after a favoring change of wind.
- to be alert and quick: If you want to get ahead, you must look sharp.
- Also British, look slippy. to hurry: You'd better look sharp! It's getting late.
Origin of look
British Dictionary definitions for look after (1 of 2)
verb (intr, preposition)
British Dictionary definitions for look after (2 of 2)
verb (mainly intr)
- to search or seekI looked for you everywhere
- to cherish the expectation (of); hope (for)I look for success
- to be mindful (of)to look to the promise one has made
- to have recourse (to)look to your swords, men!
Word Origin for look
Word Origin and History for look after (1 of 2)
Old English locian "use the eyes for seeing, gaze, look, behold, spy," from West Germanic *lokjan (cf. Old Saxon lokon "see, look, spy," Middle Dutch loeken "to look," Old High German luogen, German dialectal lugen "to look out"), of unknown origin, perhaps cognate with Breton lagud "eye." In Old English, usually with on; the use of at began 14c. Meaning "seek, search out" is c.1300; meaning "to have a certain appearance" is from c.1400. Of objects, "to face in a certain direction," late 14c.
Look after "take care of" is from late 14c., earlier "to seek" (c.1300), "to look toward" (c.1200). Look into "investigate" is from 1580s; look up "research in books or papers" is from 1690s. To look down upon in the figurative sense is from 1711; to look down one's nose is from 1921. To look forward "anticipate" is c.1600; meaning "anticipate with pleasure" is mid-19c. To not look back "make no pauses" is colloquial, first attested 1893. In look sharp (1711) sharp originally was an adverb, "sharply."
Word Origin and History for look after (1 of 2)
c.1200, "act or action of looking," from look (v.). Meaning "appearance of a person" is from late 14c. Expression if looks could kill ... attested by 1827 (if looks could bite is attested from 1747).
Idioms and Phrases with look after (1 of 2)
Also, look out for; see after. Take care of, attend to the safety or well-being of, as in Please look after your little brother, or We left Jane to look out for the children, or Please see after the luggage. The first expression dates from the second half of the 1300s, the second from the mid-1900s, and the third from the early 1700s.
Idioms and Phrases with look after (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with look
- look after
- look a gift horse in the mouth
- look alive
- look as if butter wouldn't melt
- look askance
- look back
- look before you leap
- look black
- look blank
- look daggers
- look down on
- look for
- look forward to
- look in on
- look into
- look like
- look like a million dollars
- look like death
- look like something the cat dragged in
- look like the cat that ate the canary
- look on
- look on the bright side
- look out
- look out for
- look over
- look sharp
- look sideways at
- look someone in the face
- look the other way
- look through rose-colored glasses
- look to
- look to one's laurels
- look up
- look up and down
- look up to
- look who's talking
- (look on the) bright side
- dirty look
- make someone look good
- take a look at
- things are looking up