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
Synonyms for look
verb (used with object), nosed, nos·ing.
verb (used without object), nosed, nos·ing.
- to defeat, especially by a narrow margin: The other candidates had been nosed out in the final returns.
- to learn or discover, especially by snooping or prying: to nose out a secret.
- to go forward in a straight course.
- to guide oneself by instinct: I found the house by following my nose.
- precisely, correctly, or perfectly.
- exactly on time: We made it at ten o'clock on the nose.
- (of a bet) for win only.
- Australian Informal.decayed or putrid; stinking.
- Australian Informal.distasteful or unpleasant; of doubtful validity or propriety.
- to annoy or irritate greatly.
- to supersede a person in another's regard, devotion, etc.
- to thwart someone; spoil someone's plans.
Origin of nose
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
- (in horse-race betting) to win onlyI bet twenty pounds on the nose on that horse
- mainly US and Canadianprecisely; exactly
- Australianbad or bad-smelling
- to be short-sighted; suffer from myopia
- to lack insight or foresight
- directly in front of one
- without one noticing
Word Origin for nose
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."
"perceive the smell of," 1570s; "pry, search," 1640s, from nose (n.). Related: Nosed; nosing.
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).
Old English nosu, from Proto-Germanic *nusus (cf. Old Norse nös, Old Frisian nose, Dutch neus, Old High German nasa, German Nase), from PIE *nas- "nose" (cf. Sanskrit nasa, Old Persian naham, Old Church Slavonic nasu, Lithuanian nosis, Latin nasus "nose"). Used of any prominent or projecting part from 1530s. (nose cone in the space rocket sense is from 1949). Used to indicate "something obvious" from 1590s. Meaning "odor, scent" is from 1894.
Kiv, It could bee no other then his owne manne, that had thrust his nose so farre out of ioynte. ["Barnabe Riche His Farewell to Military Profession," 1581]
Pay through the nose (1670s) seems to suggest "bleed." Many extended meanings are from the horse-racing sense of "length of a horse's nose," as a measure of distance between two finishers (1908). To turn up one's nose "show disdain" is from 1818 (earlier hold up one's nose, 1570s); similar notion in look down one's nose (1921). To say something is under (one's) nose "in plain view" is from 1540s.
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
In addition to the idioms beginning with nose
- nose about
- nose in
- nose in a book, have one's
- nose in the air, have one's
- nose into
- nose out
- nose out of joint, have one's
- nose to the grindstone, keep one's
- brown nose
- can't see beyond the end of one's nose
- count noses
- cut off one's nose
- follow one's nose
- keep one's nose clean
- lead by the nose
- look down on (one's nose)
- no skin off my nose
- on the nose
- pay through the nose
- plain as day (the nose on your face)
- poke one's nose into
- rub someone's nose in it
- thumb one's nose
- turn up one's nose
- under one's nose
- win by a nose