Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for overlook in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Indigenous people overlooking Quito, Ecuador


From Middle English overloken, equivalent to over- +‎ look.



overlook (plural overlooks)

  1. A vista or point that gives a beautiful view.
    • 1980, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (N.R.A.), General Management Plan
      Normally a visitor does not participate in one activity to the exclusion of others. One main activity, such as swimming, will be supplemented by other activities and use of other facilities, such as picnicking, hiking, stopping at an overlook, and so forth.



overlook (third-person singular simple present overlooks, present participle overlooking, simple past and past participle overlooked)

  1. To look down upon from a place that is over or above; to look over or view from a higher position
    to overlook a valley from a hill
  2. To supervise; to watch over; sometimes, to observe secretly.
    to overlook a gang of laborers; to overlook one who is writing a letter
    • 1839, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Schalken the Painter
      The artist turned sharply round, and now for the first time became aware that his labours had been overlooked by a stranger.
  3. To inspect; to examine; to look over carefully or repeatedly.
  4. To look upon with an evil eye; to bewitch by looking upon; to fascinate.
  5. To fail to notice; to look over and beyond (anything) without seeing it.
  6. To pretend not to have noticed, especially a mistake; to pass over without censure or punishment.


Further reading[edit]