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Meaning, synonyms, and antonyms of “overlook” and “look over”

“Overlook” means ignoring, failing to notice, or observing from a high place. “Look over” means inspecting something in a cursory way to establish its merits or get a general idea of what it is like.

Kimberly Ann Potts
Kimberly Ann Potts

Considering both as synonyms or antonyms, “overlook” and “look over” are two very similar yet different terms whose meaning and use people often confuse! Since they are both similar in several ways, differentiating them can be pretty challenging but not impossible.

“Overlook” means ignoring, failing to notice, or observing from a high place. To overlook something is failing to see it or oversee it. Synonyms for overlook are: ignore, neglect, omitted, excluded, and pass-over. Its synonyms include regard, attend to heed, mind, tend to, notice, and remember.

“Look over” means inspecting something in a cursory way to establish its merits or get a general idea of what it is like. Synonyms for “look over” are: inspect, examine, skim, check, look through, and monitor. Its antonyms include: avoid, bypass, discard, and look away.

What part of speech does “overlook” and “look over” belong to?

“Overlook” may be used as a transitive verb that takes on an object or a noun. As a verb, “overlook” means to ignore, fail to notice, or oversee. As a noun, “overlook” is to look down upon something from a higher position to command a view of it.

“Look over” is treated as two separate words when used as a verb. As a noun, “look over” means a brief or superficial examination or reading, but it means to examine quickly as a verb.

How to correctly use “overlook” and “look over” in a sentence

Here are some examples of how “overlook” can be used as a verb in a sentence.

The forensic accountant overlooked an important clue.
If all else fails, do not overlook the power of letting go.
Only a careless employee could overlook that kind of error.
We had to stay to overlook the completed tasks.

Some examples of how "overlook" can be used as a noun in a sentence:

All the officials could be seen from the overlook.
Rooms with overlooks cost more and have been reserved for dignitaries.
The restaurant has a well-decorated overlook.
The Governor's office has an overlook that lets him see the whole city!

Examples of how “look over” can be used in a sentence:

Clear your schedule and make sure to look over the shopping list. We are going shopping on Tuesday!
Would you like to look over the written scripts again today and tomorrow?
Carefully look over the solutions and make sure you have them right.
Look over your shoulders to get a better view of the red paper.

Video examples:

The Others (2001)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
Interstellar (2014)
The Blind Side (2009)
EnglishWhich is correct

Kimberly Ann Potts

My name is Kimberly. I'm an experienced copywriter and editor. I like writing about complex topics to help readers find the correct answers.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

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Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.