Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

look on - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theylook on
he/she/itlooks on
present participlelooking on
past tenselooked on
past participlelooked on
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to watch an activity or event without taking part in it

    Phil looked on in disbelief as Maggie got up on the table and started to dance.

  2. 2

    look on


    look upon

    [transitive] look on/upon someone/something to think of someone or something in a particular way
    look on as:

    We’re not related but I look on him as a brother.

    I look on it as a challenge.

    look on with:

    Thirty years ago, kids would have looked on such music with contempt.

    1. a.
      not look kindly on/upon to not approve of something

      We don’t look kindly on people who cheat us.

See also main entry: look


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play