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Words to use instead of LOOK

The first thing we need to do is to get a definition of the word look. This is important because in order to use other words instead of look, you first need to understand that word can be used in different ways depending upon the context of the situation. The definition of the word will explain these different contexts. The word look can be used as a verb or a noun.

As a transitive verb, look can be used:
• to make sure or take care (that something is done).
Example: I will look to see if the dishes have been washed. Alternative: I will peek and see if the dishes have been washed.

• to ascertain by the use of one's eyes.
Example: Look at these beautiful flowers. Alternative: Did you see the beautifil flowers I brought you?

• to exercise the power of vision upon something/someone.
Example: The detective will look at the crime scene. Alternative: The detective will examine the crime scene.

• to express by the eyes or facial expression.
Example: The lawyer had a look of surprise on his face as the judge pronounce his client guilty. Alternative: The lawyer appeared surprised as the judge pronounce his client guilty.

As an intransitive verb, look can:
• Direct your eyes at a person, place, or thing.
Example: Ralph looked at Beverly. Alternative: Ralph peered around the corner at Beverly.

• To have, or give, the appearance of something.
Example: The house had the look of being abandoned. Alternative: The house had the appearance of being abandoned.

•To investigate, or attempt to find.
Example: He started to look for the book. Alternative: He started to search for the book he had misplaced.

Below is a list of verbs that can be used instead of look. You will notice that I did not put in the list any of the compound verbs that can be used with look; for example look + up, down, about/around, out, away, after, ahead, back, down upon, for, forward to, into, out for, over, up to, to (rely on). I left these out as this is a list of words to use instead of look. If you are replacing the past tense of look (looked), the verbs below can also be used in their respective past tense as well.


to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval.

Lucy admired the necklace in the jewelry store.


to have the appearance of being; seem; look.

The car appaeared to be new, but Joseph has his doubts.

behold (beheld)

to observe; look at; see

“Behold my powers and be in fear!” shouted the wizard.


to view carefully or thoughtfully.

Stacy considered how a new oven would reduce the time it took to cook dinner.


to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully.

James contemplated whether or not he really needed a new car.


to inspect or scrutinize carefully.

The archeologist picked up his magnifying glass and examined the artifact.


to look into closely; scrutinize; examine.

“Let's explore this option carefully before we proceed any further,” said the chairman of the board.


to observe or watch narrowly.

Jason eyed the woman in the red dress as she walked toward him.


to look at, check, or observe closely.

The doctor eyeballed his patient before he bagan to speak.

feast one's (your) eyes

(metaphoric extression) be delighted or gratified by the sight of.

“Feast your eyes on all this food and let's dig in!”


to direct one's attention or efforts.

Joe focused on the words of the page he holding, but they didn't make any sense.


to search about; seek; hunt.

Linda foraged through the cupboard until she found the can of corn.


to stare with open mouth, as in wonder, or astonishment.

Charlie gaped at the sight of the woman in the red dress.


to stare stupidly; gape.

We drove through Hollywood where we gawked at the mansions and homes of the rich and famous.


to look steadily and intently, as with great curiosity, interest, pleasure, or wonder.

Emily gazed at the photo of her mother and couldn't help but smile.


to look quickly or briefly.

Sam glanced over his shoulder and sighed in relief that he was not being followed.


to look or stare with sullen dislike, discontent, or anger.

The manager glowered at the clerk when he saw the broken vase at her feet. He turned and stompped back to his office.


to stare with bulging or wide-open eyes.

Her eyes goggled in astonishment when she saw the ghost standing in the doorway.


to give attention; have regard.

Unfortunately, the whole sorry situation could have been avoided, if only we'd heeded the warnings that were posted.


to make a search or endeavor to find.

Linda hunted through the cupboard until she found the can of corn.


to look carefully at or over; view closely and critically; to view or examine formally or officially.

Linda inspected the cupboard but could find the can of corn.


examine in detail.

Linda investigated the cupboard but could find the can of corn.


to pay attention to or take notice of.

John noticed that Shirley had cut her hair and wondered when she did that.


to see, watch, perceive, or notice.

Greg observed the people in the office silently typing on their keyboards and wondered if he had entered the Twilight Zone.


to look at amorously, flirtatiously, or impertinently; to stare at.

He ogled the Princess in such a manner that she burst out laughing.


to look or glance quickly or furtively, especially through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer.


to look through a small opening or from a concealed location; to look slyly, pryingly, or furtively; to look curiously or playfully.


to look narrowly or searchingly, as in the effort to discern clearly.

pore(d) over

to read or study (something) very carefully.


to search into or examine thoroughly.


to search; seek (often followed by for or after).


to look at carefully so as to understand the meaning of (something written, printed, etc.).


to look or gaze.


to look about or stare with great curiosity, as by craning the neck or turning the head.


to glance at or over.


to examine, inspect, or observe for the purpose of obtaining information; reconnoiter.


to examine in detail with careful or critical attention.


to explore or examine in order to discover.

see (saw)

to perceive with the eyes; look at.

seek (sought)

to go in search of : look for.


to detect or notice.

spy (spied)

to catch sight of : see


to gaze fixedly and intently, especially with the eyes wide open.

study (studied)

to examine or investigate carefully and in detail.


to view in detail, especially to inspect, examine, or appraise formally or officially in order to ascertain condition, value, etc.

take a gander

(idiomatic) To take a look; to check or examine.

take a look

(idiomatic, intransitive) To examine or observe.

take in

to recieve into the mind : perceive.

Harry walked up to the the ledge to take in the view.


the act of seeing or examining


to look at : observe.

As a noun, look can:

• Be an expression of countenance.
Example: He had the look of disgust on his face. Alternative: The grimace of disgust on his face clearly communicated his feelings.

• Be an expression of the act of looking
Example: He grimaced at the thought of eating beets.

• Be a style or fashion, or outward appearance.
Example: The dress made her look beautiful. Alternative: She was very beautiful in that dress.

Below is a list of nouns that can be used instead of look.


the state, condition, manner, or style in which a person or object appears; outward look or aspect.


appearance to the eye or mind.


the manner in which one behaves or comports oneself : the manner in which one bears.

The man had a cheerful bearing.


a turning of the eye in a particular direction.


a look, or bearing, or expresion.


facial appearance; mien.


a look or intonation expressing personal reaction, feeling, etc.


a look or facial expression.


the makeup or appearance of the face or its parts.


external and often feigned appearance especially in the face of danger or adversity.


a facial expression usually of disgust, disapproval, or pain


to draw back the lips so as to show the teeth especially in amusement or laughter


external appearance: semblance.


characteristic or distinctive bearing.


bearing especially as expressive of attitude or personality : demeanor.


a facial expression of displeasure.


a facial expression in which the eyes brighten and the corners of the mouth curve slightly upward and which expresses especially amusement, pleasure, approval, or sometimes scorn

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