Definition of overlook in English:



  • 1Fail to notice (something)

    ‘he seems to have overlooked one important fact’
    • ‘The conflict of interest with him owning a private ambulance service was conveniently overlooked.’
    • ‘A fundamental shift in the nature of migration has been largely overlooked by policy-makers.’
    • ‘I worry that we overlook important considerations when we equate care for adults with care for children.’
    • ‘However, you might be overlooking a few important facts.’
    • ‘In many situations where one group is the majority, they often overlook the important contributions of other members of society.’
    • ‘Regrettably, the debate is so laden with emotions and self-serving arguments that the facts are often overlooked.’
    • ‘Second, it overlooks the fact that, by knowing a few important things, one can know the many less important things that follow from them.’
    • ‘Line-of-business managers may overlook risks or fail to alert higher-ups when they do see them.’
    • ‘I think, however, that he overlooks an important third possibility - inadequate nutrition in utero.’
    • ‘The bill entirely overlooks this important requirement.’
    • ‘The five steps seem simple, even obvious, but consider how often they're overlooked in public debate.’
    • ‘Oddly enough, you sometimes overlook important details or fail completely to see and understand the other person's point of view.’
    • ‘A fact often overlooked is that Ruth hit his 714 homers in 8,399 at-bats.’
    • ‘We are particularly concerned with efficiency values, an aspect that is frequently overlooked.’
    • ‘Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact.’
    • ‘The concerns of early childhood educators, however, appear to have been overlooked in this discussion.’
    • ‘Protection of health care workers during the decontamination process is important and frequently overlooked.’
    • ‘First it confirms that they are in the vast majority - a fact often overlooked.’
    • ‘The appointment was unanimous and, given the nature of humanities studies, it is doubtful that the department would overlook something as important as equity policies.’
    • ‘Both are interesting (and were largely overlooked at the time).’
    miss, fail to notice, fail to observe, fail to spot, fail to see, leave, leave unnoticed
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    1. 1.1Ignore or disregard (something, especially a fault or offense)
      ‘she was more than ready to overlook his faults’
      • ‘Liberals were once happy to overlook the country's crimes, seeing only a model democratic state’
      • ‘Or, if they do, they will overlook that error in their determination to snap up some stylish, low-priced quilts, lamps and rugs.’
      • ‘However, these complaints can be overlooked due to the sheer zeal the movie radiates.’
      • ‘Ignoring these inconsistencies to savour the flavour of the novel may not induce a reader to overlook the errors that may have crept in during translation or copyediting.’
      • ‘He was, and is, a good man, but no man is good enough to overlook every fault, especially something like this.’
      • ‘However, while you are quick to overlook faults, the Thinker can be overly critical.’
      • ‘The prisoner promised that if the Magistrates would overlook the offence he would not do anything of the kind again.’
      • ‘Atrocities are overlooked and nobody seems to be a credible witness.’
      • ‘All of these goofs can be overlooked due to the sheer likeability of the script and actors.’
      • ‘For their part European leaders are desperate to overlook his misdemeanours in the interests of unity.’
      • ‘Many of these faults could be overlooked if we actually cared about the characters.’
      • ‘Even if it is cheese of the lowest order, it is still cheese, and therefore we can overlook many of its faults.’
      • ‘That does not require them either to assume that it is faultless or to overlook its faults.’
      • ‘In contrast, the auditor will be prepared to overlook immaterial errors in financial statements and in underlying records.’
      • ‘We need to have the spirit of forgiveness for our brethren and overlook small mistakes which happen during the running of organisations.’
      • ‘Numerous government officials either have stakes in the mines or are bribed to overlook regulation breaches.’
      • ‘Longstanding ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites.’
      • ‘However, we should not overlook what they did create in the provincial cities and industrial regions of Britain.’
      • ‘We shouldn't overlook the error by finding it tiny in comparison to his crushing worldwide agenda.’
      • ‘The world teaches us to live in denial and overlook the faults and failings that keep us from loving.’
      disregard, neglect, ignore, pay no attention to, pay no heed to, turn a blind eye, turn a deaf ear to, pass over, omit, gloss over, leave out, leave undone, forget
      deliberately ignore, not take into consideration, disregard, take no notice of, take no account of, make allowances for, let pass, turn a blind eye to, wink at, blink at, connive at, excuse, pardon, forgive, condone, let someone off with, let go, sink, bury, let bygones be bygones
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    2. 1.2Pass over (someone) in favor of another.
      ‘he was overlooked by the Nobel committee’
      • ‘I just don't think they are getting the opportunity and are being overlooked in favour of foreign keepers.’
      • ‘This is long overdue and it would be a crying shame if he was overlooked permanently.’
      • ‘I wish that people wouldn't just overlook me and think I'm just some kid.’
      • ‘How he was overlooked as one of the Scotland trialists is a mystery.’
      • ‘He's been cranky every time he was overlooked for the front bench and is also known to have mood swings, despite once being a psychologist.’
      • ‘It is not always that women are overlooked in the adoption process.’
      • ‘It wasn't the first time they had overlooked him.’
      • ‘There are French doors out to a small railed balcony which overlooks the garden.’
      • ‘Reliance solely on the conventional diagnostic approach will overlook many people who could benefit from thyroid-replacement therapy.’
      • ‘In the end, Liverpool and Birmingham were both overlooked in favour of sticking with the Steel City.’
      • ‘For example, are qualified black people being overlooked for particular assignments in favor of those less qualified?’
      • ‘This is an example of an unknown actor being overlooked because she's unknown.’
      • ‘He's been consistently overlooked for promotion and doesn't find it easy to talk to people.’
      • ‘I had thought the pattern was more or less standardized, but it appears I've been overlooking some extraordinary people.’
      • ‘Cleopatra Thea of Syria was reputed to be far more beautiful and cunning than Cleopatra VII, yet she is always overlooked in favour of her descendant!’
      • ‘A lot of people may overlook him now, but they'll be sorry in the long run.’
  • 2Have a view of from above.

    ‘the chateau overlooks fields of corn and olive trees’
    • ‘Laughloch stood before the wide, panoramic window that overlooked the street intersection.’
    • ‘The rooms overlook either the front or the rear of the house.’
    • ‘Her large window overlooked the street, with a narrow view of downtown, which was spectacular after dark when the lights glittered in the night sky.’
    • ‘Her office overlooked a view of the main street.’
    • ‘Adele stood in her room by the window that overlooked their street.’
    • ‘The room led out to a balcony which overlooked a large beautiful garden.’
    • ‘A large flowing fountain centered it all, and beyond, the rear windows overlooked the valley with a grandiose view of the lake and the city in the distance.’
    • ‘One of the employees I had become friends with over the summer grabbed me and dragged me over to the huge picture window that overlooked the playing field of Yankee Stadium.’
    • ‘We entered the main room where the windows overlooked the quiet lake.’
    • ‘Katy waved at the door and walked to a window that overlooked the street.’
    • ‘The next bedroom also has large windows overlooking the lake and patio.’
    • ‘I went to the bed and kneeled on it, looking out the window that overlooked part of the field.’
    • ‘A picture window with original shutters overlooks the street.’
    • ‘We sat down by the window, which overlooked the busy street.’
    • ‘The low maintenance back garden faces south and is not overlooked from the back.’
    • ‘The main bedroom has two large windows which overlook Gordon Street, while the smaller bedroom is to the rear.’
    • ‘A window with working shutters overlooks the street.’
    • ‘This is bright with a large wooden framed sash window which overlooks the street.’
    • ‘A set of bay windows overlooks the Liffey Valley and there are patio doors leading out to the back patio and lawned garden.’
    • ‘Tobias softly closed the door and slunk upstairs to a window that overlooked the streets out front only to confirm his assumption that cops were watching his house.’
    have a view of, afford a view of, look across, look over, look on to, look out on, look out over, face, front on to, give on to, give over, open out over, command a view of, command, dominate
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  • 3archaic Supervise; oversee.

  • 4archaic Bewitch with the evil eye.

    ‘they told them they were overlooked by some unlucky Person’


North American
  • A commanding position or view.

    ‘he veered off the highway onto an overlook’
    • ‘The overlook provides a head-on view of the massive, horsetail-shaped cataract.’
    • ‘It was a serene overlook off of the Blue Ridge Parkway I found while looking for a quiet place to contemplate my post-residency plans.’
    • ‘Stone Mountain, the highest point, provides an overlook to the water.’
    • ‘A left turn takes you along the 7-mile South Rim Rd., a paved road with a dozen panoramic overlooks, some with picnic areas and restrooms.’
    • ‘He quickened his pace when the overlook came into view on the ridge ahead.’
    • ‘Even the larger Cañon de Chelly is invisible except from a few select overlooks - otherwise all one can see is an endless vista of trees and some mesas in the distance.’
    • ‘Visitors can enjoy beautiful overlooks, including Drake's Seat and Valdemar Hill.’
    • ‘Outside the park adjacent to Two Medicine Road, Looking Glass Highway climbs to a dramatic overlook.’
    • ‘The group had stopped on the way down a mountain on a small overlook.’
    • ‘She pulled off onto a small overlook and we stared down at the valley in front of us as she turned off the car.’
    • ‘We gather on scenic overlooks just off the interstate.’
    • ‘Laurie pinpoints a location and directs Shawn to a scenic overlook.’
    • ‘The overlook at Coopers Rock State Forest in Monongalia County is breathtaking, and many localities have festivals throughout the fall.’
    • ‘There are spots on the drive where one gets to view both sides of the ranges from overlooks located at vantage points.’
    • ‘Along the mesa rim there are good overlooks of major sites in the canyon.’
    • ‘I left the garden (it started to rain a little) and walked up to the overlook for a long view of Lake Mendota.’
    • ‘Here you can hike to a scenic overlook for an impressive view of the river and St. Ignatius Church, which served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.’
    • ‘There are outstanding views of the Table Mountains from the glass overlook and walk-out balcony of the new Geology Museum.’
    • ‘That evening we went on what was called a ‘sunset tour’ in which we drove west along the rim, stopping at various scenic overlooks as the sun gradually set.’
    • ‘Also, I was most intrigued with this sighting because we saw it on a mountain at a city overlook where light pollution is highest.’