verb (used with object)

  1. to fail to notice, perceive, or consider: to overlook a misspelled word.
  2. to disregard or ignore indulgently, as faults or misconduct: Only a parent could overlook that kind of behavior.
  3. to look over, as from a higher position: a balcony that overlooks the ballroom.
  4. to afford a view over; look down or out upon: a hill overlooking the sea.
  5. to rise above: The Washington Monument overlooks the tidal basin.
  6. to excuse; pardon: a minor infraction we can overlook this time.
  7. to look over in inspection, examination, or perusal: They allowed us to overlook the proposed contract.
  8. to look after, oversee, or supervise: She has to overlook a large number of employees.
  9. Archaic. to look upon with the evil eye; bewitch.


  1. terrain, as on a cliff, that affords an attractive vista or a good view: Miles of landscape could be seen from the overlook.

verb (ˌəʊvəˈlʊk) (tr)

  1. to fail to notice or take into account
  2. to disregard deliberately or indulgently
  3. to look at or over from abovethe garden is overlooked by the prison
  4. to afford a view of from abovethe house overlooks the bay
  5. to rise above
  6. to look after
  7. to look at carefully
  8. to bewitch or cast the evil eye upon (someone)

noun (ˈəʊvəˌlʊk) US

  1. a high place affording a view
  2. an act of overlooking

v.mid-14c., “to examine, scrutinize, inspect,” from over- + look (v.). Another Middle English sense was “to peer over the top of.” These two literal senses have given rise to the two main modern meanings. Meaning “to look over or beyond and thus not see,” via notion of “to choose to not notice” is first recorded 1520s. Seemingly contradictory sense of “to watch over officially, keep an eye on, superintend” is from 1530s. Related: Overlooked; overlooking. In Shekaspeare’s day, overlooking also was a common term for “inflicting the evil eye on” (someone or something).

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