look daggers, to look at someone with a furious, menacing expression: I could see my partner looking daggers at me.
    look down one's nose at, to regard with an overbearing attitude of superiority, disdain, or censure: The more advanced students really looked down their noses at the beginners.
    look forward to, to anticipate with eagerness or pleasure: I always look forward to your visits.
    look sharp,
    1. to be alert and quick: If you want to get ahead, you must look sharp.
    2. Also British, look hurry: You'd better look sharp! It's getting late.

Origin of look

before 900; (v.) Middle English lōk(i)en, Old English lōcian; cognate with Middle Dutch lœken, akin to dialectal German lugen to look out; (noun) Middle English loke act of looking, glance, countenance, derivative of the v.

Synonyms for look

1. See watch. 6. See seem. 16. gaze, glance. 17. appearance, air. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for look forward to

look forward to


(intr, adverb + preposition) to wait or hope for, esp with pleasure


verb (mainly intr)

(often foll by at) to direct the eyes (towards)to look at the sea
(often foll by at) to direct one's attention (towards)let's look at the circumstances
(often foll by to) to turn one's interests or expectations (towards)to look to the future
(copula) to give the impression of being by appearance to the eye or mind; seemthat looks interesting
to face in a particular directionthe house looks north
to expect, hope, or plan (to do something)I look to hear from you soon; he's looking to get rich
(foll by for)
  1. to search or seekI looked for you everywhere
  2. to cherish the expectation (of); hope (for)I look for success
(foll by to)
  1. to be mindful (of)to look to the promise one has made
  2. to have recourse (to)look to your swords, men!
to be a pointer or signthese early inventions looked towards the development of industry
(foll by into) to carry out an investigationto look into a mystery
(tr) to direct a look at (someone) in a specified wayshe looked her rival up and down
(tr) to accord in appearance with (something)to look one's age
look alive or look lively hurry up; get busy
look daggers See dagger (def. 4)
look here an expression used to attract someone's attention, add emphasis to a statement, etc
look sharp or look smart (imperative) to hurry up; make haste
not look at to refuse to considerthey won't even look at my offer of £5000
not much to look at unattractive; plain


the act or an instance of lookinga look of despair
a view or sight (of something)let's have a look
(often plural) appearance to the eye or mind; aspectthe look of innocence; I don't like the looks of this place
style; fashionthe new look for summer

sentence connector

an expression demanding attention or showing annoyance, determination, etclook, I've had enough of this

Word Origin for look

Old English lōcian; related to Middle Dutch læken, Old High German luogen to look out


See at like 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for look forward to



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."



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with look forward to

look forward to

Eagerly anticipate, as in I'm looking forward to their visit, or Jim looked forward to the day when he could retire. [First half of 1700s]


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

also see:

  • (look on the) bright side
  • dirty look
  • make someone look good
  • take a look at
  • things are looking up
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.