look askance

View with mistrust, as in They looked askance at him when he said he'd just made a million in the stock market. The precise feeling conveyed by this expression has varied since it was first used in the 1500s, from envy to contempt to suspicion, although the literal meaning was “look obliquely, with a side glance.” The present sense dates from about 1800. Also see look sideways.

Nearby words

  1. look,
  2. look a gift horse in the mouth,
  3. look after,
  4. look alive,
  5. look as if butter wouldn't melt,
  6. look back,
  7. look before you leap,
  8. look black,
  9. look blank,
  10. look daggers

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.