Definition of lookout in English:



  • 1A place from which to keep watch or view the landscape.

    as modifier ‘a fortified lookout tower’
    ‘a lookout point with breathtaking views’
    • ‘From a lookout hut, we watched a royal albatross father trying hard to land, flying with slim wings three metres long in a circle, four or five times.’
    • ‘Then he made his way to the lookout post, with some anger in him.’
    • ‘There she saw a bit of a lookout post in the forest… high up.’
    • ‘It is worth stopping and looking at the view from the lookout on the right - a vista of mountains and right through to the sea at Tahunanui.’
    • ‘Either side of the gates was a tall lookout tower, the same colour as the walls and with a golden, cone-shaped roof.’
    • ‘Black smoke filled the air outside and Juan watched from the lookout point with satisfaction.’
    • ‘Many hours later found me sitting in my favorite lookout spot, watching the sunlight shimmer on the water.’
    • ‘The steady climb and particularly the final stairway to the fire lookout might give shaky legs to those with vertigo.’
    • ‘It begins at an easy gradient and gradually climbs to a lookout giving excellent views north and south along the coast.’
    • ‘The view from the lookout was a breathtaking panorama of the harbour and the sea beyond.’
    • ‘Within it are staircases and skylights that connect the main auditorium with underground classrooms, and a lookout tower which houses the museum.’
    • ‘Back on the beach, a teenage boy sat up on the lookout tower.’
    • ‘From the lookout area, the view embraces the valley’
    • ‘The view to port and starboard along the river from my lookout in the crow's nest was picture perfect.’
    • ‘About ten minutes further along the track there is a path to a lookout and a stone seat.’
    • ‘He and Rolf climbed down from the lookout point and onto the ground.’
    • ‘Keiko watched patiently as the soldier one hundred metres away from their spot continued his patrol on the walls and entered the lookout tower adjoining the city walls.’
    • ‘Andree climbed down from the lookout point and walked over to Rolf and Isaac.’
    • ‘After metal detectors and searches, I was let in through two gigantic automated gates, watched from a lookout tower.’
    • ‘Water slapped over the decks, rode up the windows and playfully splashed the lookout tower.’
    observation post, lookout point, lookout station, lookout tower, watchtower, tower, post
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    1. 1.1 A person stationed to keep watch for danger or trouble.
      ‘they acted as lookouts at the post office’
      • ‘He had tried to persuade me to go with him, to act as a lookout for him, in return for half of what he got - but I was too afraid - I refused, thinking he'd drop the idea.’
      • ‘The lookout spots a traveling party and men are dispatched to capture and bring them back.’
      • ‘We believe there was a child of five acting as a lookout, so parents need to take more responsibility for their children and make sure they know where they are.’
      • ‘The lookouts in the towers began to climb down but were struck down by a firestorm raining down upon them.’
      • ‘He was so severely hurt by using the brick that he decided to act as a lookout while the other man stole a television set and a PlayStation computer game.’
      • ‘Other members of the gang acted as lookouts while one of the men walked into the office and out of the store with the cash.’
      • ‘He said the two lads acted as lookouts as he did the robbery and he gave them £400 each.’
      • ‘The storm raged all night and three lookouts were posted.’
      • ‘The witness denied under cross-examination that she had exaggerated what she heard at the toilet or that she and the other boy had acted as lookouts.’
      • ‘The boy claimed to have been acting as a lookout for his two friends, whom he said had set out to ‘beat people up’ and go ‘jacking’, a slang term for stealing cars.’
      • ‘He would have to get better guards and lookouts.’
      • ‘One minute they're playing video games, the next they're acting as lookouts for patrols of militia men.’
      • ‘A third man who was armed with a handgun acted as the lookout.’
      • ‘While her partner acts as a lookout, she slips box after box of perfume into a bag.’
      • ‘The appellant continued to act as a lookout throughout.’
      • ‘So we will still post guards, and lookouts, but we need to start cooking food for dinner.’
      • ‘Guss and Dante looked up to the tower the lookout had called from, and then out across the plains.’
      • ‘It is believed the man, who has not been named, was acting as a lookout for other workers.’
      • ‘Jesi was to act as a lookout for us, since he assumed she was the least psychically able of all of us.’
      • ‘A lookout would ensure that no guards could surprise the craftsmen during their 12-hour shifts.’
      watchman, guard, watch, sentry, sentinel, night watchman, scout, picket
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    2. 1.2archaic A view over a landscape.
      • ‘You'll see a beautiful hemlock stand, a fine lookout and acidic Bat Lake.’
      • ‘A few hundred meters from the entrance, there is a fine lookout over the plain.’
      view, vista, panorama, prospect, bird's-eye view, sweep, outlook, aspect
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  • 2British informal in singular, with adjective Used to indicate whether a likely outcome is good or bad.

    ‘‘What if he gets fits?’ ‘It's a bad lookout in that case.’’
    • ‘When a trust feels under pressure to set its own standards of political correctness from fear of an employment tribunal (self censorship) it is a bad lookout for medicine.’
    • ‘If Erik's secrets cease to be Erik's secrets, it will be a bad lookout for a goodly number of the human race!’
    • ‘It is a bad lookout, boys - a very bad lookout. There, don't talk about it any more. I do not want to make your mother unhappy.’
    outlook, prospect, view of the future, future
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  • be one's (own) lookout

    • informal Be a person's own responsibility or problem.

      ‘if you can't take an interest in local affairs, that's your lookout’
      • ‘If people laugh at me behind my back, well, that is their lookout.’
      • ‘If the other man left it too long, that was his lookout.’
      • ‘Well, if they are not here, that is their lookout.’
      • ‘If he chose to ignore it, well then, that was his lookout.’
      • ‘After all, if I want to invalidate my warranty by getting somebody to stick some extra memory or a chip that allows me to play games from different regions, shouldn't it be my lookout?’
      • ‘If one of the party wants to go to bed at nine every night, that is their lookout.’
      problem, concern, business, affair, responsibility, worry, difficulty
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  • be on the lookout (or keep a lookout) for

    • 1Be alert to (danger or trouble)

      ‘he told them to be on the lookout for dangerous gas’
      • ‘Try to keep a lookout for danger signs in yourself or other people who have taken drugs.’
      • ‘To avoid that fate, one must know the danger and be on the lookout for it at all times.’
      • ‘Public health workers throughout the NHS have been alerted to be on the lookout for symptoms of ricin exposure in patients.’
      • ‘It brings home the fact we should always be on the lookout for signs or symptoms that can alert us.’
      • ‘Suspicion is a product of the need to keep a lookout for signs of trouble, potential danger and clues to offences.’
      • ‘A campus alert went out, warning students to be on the lookout for a college-age man of that description.’
      • ‘As the women and children went upstairs, Adam told Greg, ‘We need to keep a lookout for trouble.’’
      • ‘As a parent, be on the lookout for behavior that may indicate your child is having trouble.’
      • ‘The tough new initiative will see shops in the High Street who have signed up to the scheme receive photo albums of convicted crooks in the area so they can be on the lookout for potential trouble makers in their store.’
      • ‘You can then alert your own doctor and be on the lookout for telltale symptoms.’
      keep watch, be on one's guard, keep on one's guard, beware, keep an eye out, keep a vigil, be alert, be observant, be attentive, be on the qui vive
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      1. 1.1Keep searching for (something that is wanted)
        ‘we kept a sharp lookout for animals and saw several waterbuck’
        • ‘‘A call went out for expressions of interest and, as I was on the lookout for something different to do, I put in an application and was fortunate enough to be chosen,’ he said.’
        • ‘However, this super rate will come to an end later this year, and I'll be on the lookout for yet another first-class account.’
        • ‘The service, which provides books, tapes and videos to elderly people or those who find it difficult to leave their home, has had offers of support from 20 volunteers and is on the lookout for more people to make use of their generosity.’
        • ‘This is the kind of house that developers have long been on the lookout for.’
        • ‘A trainer, too, he had been renting the stables in Co Kildare, and was on the lookout for somewhere to buy.’
        • ‘The organisation, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year, is on the lookout for more parents to train as volunteers.’
        • ‘A TV company is on the lookout for 15 mums-to-be to sign up for a new programme on multiple births, which will involve giving birth live on television.’
        • ‘The annual lifestyle event of the year is back and is on the lookout for fresh new talent to show off their own creative talents and design an outfit that they might think deserves to be on the Fashion Catwalk.’
        • ‘Researchers say they will be on the lookout for even more Saturn moons, and will seek close-ups of the ones just found.’
        • ‘Needless to say, I was on the lookout for somewhere I could get online to check my mail and browse the web a bit each day.’
        keep watch, be on one's guard, keep on one's guard, beware, keep an eye out, keep a vigil, be alert, be observant, be attentive, be on the qui vive
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