look through

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look through (third-person singular simple present looks through, present participle looking through, simple past and past participle looked through)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see look,‎ through.
    He looked through the binoculars at the bird.
  2. To take a view of the contents of; search in, either with the eyes or by hand.
    I looked through the magazine, but it didn't seem very interesting.
    Airport security looked through her purse and confiscated her nail scissors.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To penetrate with the understanding; to see through.
    • 1829, Richard Holcraft, Tales of Humour and Romance: Selected from Popular German Writers:
      I got a small ring to make; when I brought back the finished trinket to him he stared at me with his sparkling eyes, as if he would look through my very soul, and then said: 'Thou art a clever expert fellow []
    • 1832, The Christian Offering (page 205)
      But a man should have serious consideration enough to look through this deception.
    • 2012, Mary Young, Through Love's Eyes, page 3:
      The village women were bad enough, but this man looked through me, past all the walls I had built to protect myself from pain. I do not think I could have hidden anything from him, even with a lifetime's practice of hiding what I felt.
  4. (idiomatic, often with "right") To appear or pretend not to see something or someone who is clearly visible.
    I tried to get Michele's attention at the party, but she looked right through me!

See also[edit]