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look (lk)
Share:
v. looked, look·ing, looks
v.intr.
1.
a. To employ one's sight, especially in a given direction or on a given object: looking out the window; looked at the floor.
b. To search: We looked all afternoon but could not find it.
2.
a. To turn one's glance or gaze: looked to the right.
b. To turn one's attention; attend: looked to his neglected guitar during vacation; looked at the evidence.
c. To turn one's expectations: looked to us for a solution.
3. To seem or appear to be: look morose.
4. To face in a specified direction: The cottage looks on the river.
v.tr.
1. To turn one's eyes on: looked him in the eye.
2. To convey by one's expression: looked annoyance at the judge; looked his devotion to me.
3.
a. To have an appearance of conformity with: He looks his age. She dressed up to look the part.
b. To appear to be: looked the fool in one version of the story.
n.
1.
a. The act or instance of looking: I took just one look and I was sure.
b. A gaze or glance expressive of something: gave her a mournful look.
2.
a. Appearance or aspect: a look of great age.
b. looks Physical appearance, especially when pleasing.
c. A distinctive, unified manner of dress or fashion: the preferred look for this fall.
Phrasal Verbs:
look after
To take care of: looked after his younger brother.
look for
1. To search for; seek: looking for my gloves.
2. To expect: Look for a change of weather in March.
look into
To inquire into; investigate: The police looked into the disturbance.
look on (or upon)
To regard in a certain way: looked on them as incompetents.
look out
To be watchful or careful; take care: If you don't look out, you may fall on the ice. We looked out for each other on the trip.
look over
To examine or inspect, often in hasty fashion: looked over the proposal before the meeting.
look to Usage Problem
1. To expect or hope to: He looked to hear from her within a week.
2. To seem about to; promise to: "an 'Action Program,' which ... looked to reduce tariffs on over 1,800 items" (Alan D. Romberg).
look up
1. To search for and find, as in a reference book.
2. To visit: look up an old friend.
3. To become better; improve: Things are at last looking up.
Idioms:
look a gift horse in the mouth
To be critical or suspicious of something one has received without expense.
look alive/sharp Informal
To act or respond quickly: Look alive! We leave in five minutes.
look down on/upon
To regard with contempt or condescension.
look down (one's) nose at/on
To regard with contempt or condescension.
look forward to
To think of (a future event) with pleasurable, eager anticipation: looking forward to graduation.
look in on
To visit: I look in on my grandparents each weekend.
look the other way
To deliberately overlook something: knew the student was cheating but decided to look the other way.
look up to
To admire: looked up to her mother.

[Middle English loken, from Old English lōcian.]

Usage Note: When followed by an infinitive, look often means "expect" or "hope," as in The executives look to increase sales once the economy improves or I'm looking to sell my car in July. In our 1997 survey, the Usage Panel was divided almost evenly on this usage, with 52 percent of the Panelists finding it acceptable and 48 percent rejecting it. In 2008, 55 percent rejected it, suggesting that resistance is not eroding, at least not for use in more formal contexts. The usage has an informal flavor and is popular among sports writers: The Spartans are looking to improve their offensive production. The Cubs look to continue their dominance of their division.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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