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Derived from valvama (to guard) through syncope: *valvatama > *valatama > vaatama.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɑːtˑɑmɑ/, [ˈvɑːtˑɑmɑ]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑːtɑmɑ
  • Hyphenation: vaa‧ta‧ma


vaatama (da-infinitive vaadata)

  1. (transitive, usually atelic, also figuratively) to look, to look at, to watch
    läbi roosade prillide vaatamato be overly optimistic (literally, “to look through pink glasses”)
    pudeli põhja vaatamato drink copious amounts of alcohol, binge drink (literally, “to look into the bottom of the bottle”)
    kurja silmaga vaatamato curse somebody (literally, “to look with the evil eye”)
    tõele näkku vaatamato face the truth (literally, “to look truth in the eye”)
    televiisorit vaatamato watch TV
    Kas sa oled vahel lihtsalt pilvi vaadanud?
    Have you ever just looked at the clouds?
    Mäel asuv katedraal vaatab üle kogu linna.
    The cathedral on the hill overlooks the whole city.
    1. to face
      Korteri aknad vaatavad tagahoovi.
      The windows of the apartment are facing the backyard.
  2. to visit
    Läks haiglasse ema vaatama.
    He went to the hospital to visit his mother.
  3. to look after (+ järele)
  4. to look for; to find
    Tuleb hakata uut töökohta vaatama.
    You need to start looking for a new job.
  5. to see, to find out (something in the future)
    Täna ma ei saa kuidagi, vaatame esmaspäeval.
    Today I can't, we'll see on Monday.
  6. to view, to regard in a certain way
  7. (colloquial, in the second-person imperative forms) Expresses surprise, warning, disdain, or refers to something in an affirmative, explanatory way, often as a form of address at the beginning of a sentence.
    Nojah, vaadake, nüüd on selline lugu.
    Well, look, now here's the story...
    Vaata aga vaata, kui suur poiss juba!
    Well, well, well, what a big boy he is already!
    Vaata et sa sellest kellelegi ei kõssa.
    Make sure you don't tell anyone.


Derived terms[edit]

Compound nouns[edit]

Compound verbs[edit]


  • vaatama in Sõnaveeb
  • M. Langemets, M. Tiits, T. Valdre, L. Veskis, Ü. Viks, P. Voll, editors (2009), “vaatama”, in [EKSS] Eesti keele seletav sõnaraamat [Descriptive Dictionary of the Estonian Language]‎[1] (online dictionary, in Estonian), 2nd edition, Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus (Estonian Language Foundation)