American English

Definition of look verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they look
    he / she / it looks
    past simple looked
    -ing form looking
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    use eyes
  1. 1[intransitive] to turn your eyes in a particular direction If you look carefully you can just see our house from here. look (at somebody/something) She looked at me and smiled. “Has the mail come yet?” “I'll look and see.” Look! I'm sure that's Brad Pitt! Don't look now, but there's someone staring at you! see also forward-looking
  2. search
  3. 2[intransitive] to try to find someone or something I can't find my book—I've looked everywhere. look for somebody/something Where have you been? We've been looking for you. Are you still looking for a job? We're looking for someone with experience for this position.
  4. pay attention
  5. 3[intransitive, transitive] to pay attention to something look (at something) Look at the time! We're going to be late. look where, what, etc… Can't you look where you're going?
  6. appear/seem
  7. 4linking verb to seem; to appear + adj. to look pale/happy/tired That book looks interesting. look (to somebody) like somebody/something That looks like an interesting book. see also good-looking
  8. 5[intransitive] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to have a similar appearance to someone or something; to have an appearance that suggests that something is true or will happen look (to somebody) like somebody/something That photograph doesn't look like her at all. It looks like rain (= it looks as if it's going to rain). look (to somebody) as if…/as though… You look as though you slept badly. In spoken English people often use like instead of as if or as though in this meaning:You look like you slept badly.They don't look like they're trying to win.
  9. 6[intransitive] to seem likely look (to somebody) as if…/as though… It doesn't look as if we'll be moving after all. look (to somebody) like… (informal) It doesn't look like we'll be moving after all.
  10. face
  11. 7[intransitive] + adv./prep. to face a particular direction The house looks east. The hotel looks out over the harbor.
  12. Thesaurusexamineconsider look at something analyze review study discussThese words all mean to think about, study, or describe someone or something carefully, especially in order to understand them, form an opinion of them, or make a decision about them.examine to think about, study, or describe an idea, subject, or piece of work very carefully:These ideas will be examined in more detail in Chapter 10.consider to think carefully about something, especially in order to make a decision:She carefully considered her options.look at something (somewhat informal) to consider, think about, or study something, especially in order to learn something useful or important:I'm going to look at the budget estimates on the weekend.analyze to examine the nature or structure of something, especially by separating it into its parts, in order to understand or explain it:The job involves gathering and analyzing data. He tried to analyze his to examine something again, especially so that you can decide whether any changes need to be made:The government will review the situation later in the to examine someone or something in order to understand them or it:We will study the report carefully before making a decision.examine or study?You examine something in order to understand it or to help other people understand it, for example by describing it in a book; you study something in order to understand it yourself.discuss to write or talk about something in detail, showing the different ideas and opinions about it:This topic will be discussed at greater length in the next chapter.Patterns to examine/consider/look at/analyze/review/study/discuss what/how/whether… to examine/consider/look at/analyze/review/study/discuss the situation/evidence/implications to examine/consider/look at/analyze/review/study/discuss something carefully/critically/systematically/briefly Thesauruslookwatch see view observeThese words all mean to turn your eyes in a particular direction.look to turn your eyes in a particular direction:If you look carefully, you can just see our house from here. She looked at me and to look at someone or something for a time, paying attention to what happens:to watch television Watch what I do, then you try.see to watch a game, television program, performance, etc:In the evening we went to see a movie.view (formal) to look at something, especially when you look carefully; to watch television, a movie, etc:People came from all over the world to view her, see, or view?You can see/view a movie/program/show but you cannot:see/view television. View is more formal than see and is used especially in business contexts.observe (formal) to watch someone or something carefully, especially to learn more about them or it:The patients were observed over a period of several months.Patterns to look/watch for somebody/something to watch/observe what/who/how… to look (at)/watch/view/observe (somebody/something) with amazement/surprise/disapproval, etc. to watch/see/view a movie/show/program to watch/see a game/fight/match to look (at somebody/something)/watch (somebody/something)/observe somebody/something carefully/closelyIdioms
    be just looking
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    used in a store to say that you are not ready to buy something “Can I help you?” “I'm just looking, thank you.”
    be looking to do something
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    to try to find ways of doing something The government is looking to reduce inflation.
    look bad, not look good
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    to be considered bad behavior or bad manners It looks bad not to go to your own brother's wedding.
    look bad (for somebody)
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    to show that something bad might happen He's had another heart attack; things are looking bad for him, I'm afraid.
    to show success or that something good might happen This year's sales figures are looking good.
    look here (old-fashioned)
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    used to protest about something Now look here, it wasn't my fault.
    look how/what/who…
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    used to give an example that proves what you are saying or makes it clearer Look how lazy we've become. Be careful climbing that ladder. Look what happened last time.
    look somebody up and down
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    to look at someone in a careful or critical way
    (not) look yourself
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    to not have your normal healthy appearance You're not looking yourself today (= you look tired or sick).
    never/not look back (informal)
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    to become more and more successful Her first novel was published in 2009 and since then she hasn't looked back.
    not much to look at (informal)
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    not attractive
    to look at somebody/something
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    judging by the appearance of someone or something To look at him you'd never think he was nearly fifty.
    Phrasal Verbslook after yourself/somebody/somethinglook ahead (to something)look aroundlook around (something)look around for somethinglook at somethinglook back (on something)look down on somebody/somethinglook for somethinglook forward to somethinglook in (on somebody)look into somethinglook onlook on somebody/something as somebody/somethinglook on somebody/something with somethinglook outlook out for somebodylook out for somebody/somethinglook out for somebody/yourselflook somethingoverlook through somebodylook through somethinglook to somethinglook to somebody for somethinglook uplook up (from something)look somebodyuplook somethinguplook up to somebody
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: look

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