Definition of lookout in US English:



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

    • ‘About ten minutes further along the track there is a path to a lookout and a stone seat.’
    • ‘Either side of the gates was a tall lookout tower, the same colour as the walls and with a golden, cone-shaped roof.’
    • ‘Then he made his way to the lookout post, with some anger in him.’
    • ‘After metal detectors and searches, I was let in through two gigantic automated gates, watched from a lookout tower.’
    • ‘The steady climb and particularly the final stairway to the fire lookout might give shaky legs to those with vertigo.’
    • ‘Many hours later found me sitting in my favorite lookout spot, watching the sunlight shimmer on the water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Water slapped over the decks, rode up the windows and playfully splashed the lookout tower.’
    • ‘There she saw a bit of a lookout post in the forest… high up.’
    • ‘Black smoke filled the air outside and Juan watched from the lookout point with satisfaction.’
    • ‘Within it are staircases and skylights that connect the main auditorium with underground classrooms, and a lookout tower which houses the museum.’
    • ‘Andree climbed down from the lookout point and walked over to Rolf and Isaac.’
    • ‘Back on the beach, a teenage boy sat up on the lookout tower.’
    • ‘The view to port and starboard along the river from my lookout in the crow's nest was picture perfect.’
    • ‘It begins at an easy gradient and gradually climbs to a lookout giving excellent views north and south along the coast.’
    • ‘From the lookout area, the view embraces the valley’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He and Rolf climbed down from the lookout point and onto the ground.’
    • ‘The view from the lookout was a breathtaking panorama of the harbour and the sea beyond.’
    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’
      • ‘One minute they're playing video games, the next they're acting as lookouts for patrols of militia men.’
      • ‘The lookouts in the towers began to climb down but were struck down by a firestorm raining down upon them.’
      • ‘The appellant continued to act as a lookout throughout.’
      • ‘The storm raged all night and three lookouts were posted.’
      • ‘It is believed the man, who has not been named, was acting as a lookout for other workers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘A lookout would ensure that no guards could surprise the craftsmen during their 12-hour shifts.’
      • ‘So we will still post guards, and lookouts, but we need to start cooking food for dinner.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jesi was to act as a lookout for us, since he assumed she was the least psychically able of all of us.’
      • ‘Guss and Dante looked up to the tower the lookout had called from, and then out across the plains.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The lookout spots a traveling party and men are dispatched to capture and bring them back.’
      • ‘He would have to get better guards and lookouts.’
      watchman, guard, watch, sentry, sentinel, night watchman, scout, picket
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    2. 1.2archaic A view over a landscape.
      • ‘A few hundred meters from the entrance, there is a fine lookout over the plain.’
      • ‘You'll see a beautiful hemlock stand, a fine lookout and acidic Bat Lake.’
      view, vista, panorama, prospect, bird's-eye view, sweep, outlook, aspect
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    3. 1.3informal A person's own concern.
      ‘everyone's life is his own lookout’
      • ‘If he does go off to London every now and then on business, that's his lookout. My idea is he always ought to take Mrs. Culpepper with him.’
      • ‘If you can't behave like a decent person and you continue to get banned then that's your lookout!’
      • ‘If she is violating any part of their custody order, your son can petition the court for enforcement, but again, that's his lookout and not yours.’
      problem, concern, business, affair, responsibility, worry, difficulty
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    4. 1.4British informal in singular Used to indicate whether a likely outcome is good or bad.
      ‘“What if he gets sick?” “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 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’
      • ‘Public health workers throughout the NHS have been alerted to be on the lookout for symptoms of ricin exposure in patients.’
      • ‘To avoid that fate, one must know the danger and be on the lookout for it at all times.’
      • ‘Suspicion is a product of the need to keep a lookout for signs of trouble, potential danger and clues to offences.’
      • ‘As the women and children went upstairs, Adam told Greg, ‘We need to keep a lookout for trouble.’’
      • ‘Try to keep a lookout for danger signs in yourself or other people who have taken drugs.’
      • ‘A campus alert went out, warning students to be on the lookout for a college-age man of that description.’
      • ‘As a parent, be on the lookout for behavior that may indicate your child is having trouble.’
      • ‘It brings home the fact we should always be on the lookout for signs or symptoms that can alert us.’
      • ‘You can then alert your own doctor and be on the lookout for telltale symptoms.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘This is the kind of house that developers have long been on the lookout for.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘The organisation, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year, is on the lookout for more parents to train as volunteers.’
        • ‘‘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.’
        • ‘A trainer, too, he had been renting the stables in Co Kildare, and was on the lookout for somewhere to buy.’
        • ‘Researchers say they will be on the lookout for even more Saturn moons, and will seek close-ups of the ones just found.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        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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