look up

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See also: lookup and look-up



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

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see look,‎ up.
    We stayed up late to look up at the stars.
  2. (intransitive, idiomatic) To have better prospects.
    Synonyms: get better, improve; see also Thesaurus:improve
    Things started looking up after Jim moved back in with his parents.
  3. (transitive, idiomatic) To obtain, or seek to obtain, information about something.
    • 2014 July 16, Dan Shive, El Goonish Shive (webcomic), Comic for Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014:
      "Why do you know about transgender stuff? Did you look it up because of me?" "Oh no. I find wanting to change forms totally normal. It never would've occurred to me."
    1. To obtain information about something from a reference book.
      Synonym: consult
      I didn't know what a mitochondrion was until I looked it up in a dictionary.
    2. To enter a query into a database or search engine.
      Synonym: search
      If you look up a bunch of random characters, there will probably be no results.
  4. (transitive, idiomatic) To reconnect or meet with someone that one used to know.
    Synonym: track down
    • 1914, Rupert Hughes, Clipped Wings:
      Look me up next time you’re in town—if you can bring me some new ideas.

Related terms[edit]