The word ‘look‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to glance at a particular thing or to seem/appear.​

For example:

  • Look at my new shoes! They are ruined. (glance)
  • It looks as though my date isn’t going to show. (seem/appear)


Look is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is looked.

phrasal verbs with look

Phrasal verbs with ‘look’ include:

  • look after
    meaning – take care of someone/something
    example – I’ve been looking after my mum’s dog for the past few weeks.
  • look at
    meaning – focus attention on
    example – Look at the cloud formation in the sky, it’s very odd.
  • look away
    meaning – turn your focus away
    example – Look away while I choose a card.
  • look back
    meaning – review something from the past or turn around and look behind
    example – I’ve been looking back through my old school photos.
  • look down on
    meaning – treat someone as inferior or watch from heaven
    example – Your dad will be looking down on you and smiling when you get married.
  • look for
    meaning – search for something
    example – I’m going to look for somewhere else to live, my rent is going up a lot.
  • look forward to
    meaning – be excited about something that will happen in the future
    example – I look forward to Christmas every year.
  • look in on
    meaning – visit briefly
    example – I looked in on the baby when I went to the toilet, he is sound asleep.
  • look into
    meaning – investigate or look inside a room/object
    example – I looked into different modes of transport. The train works out the cheapest.
  • look on
    meaning – watch but don’t participate
    example – The pedestrians looked on in horror as the bus burst into flames.
  • look out
    meaning – watch something on the outside from inside or be careful
    example – He looked out the window and watched the snowflakes falling.
  • look out for
    meaning – keep watch or care for/keep your eye one care of
    example – Janet’s daughter is moving to your school tomorrow, make sure you look out for her.
  • look over
    meaning – examine/inspect or look to a specified direction
    example – I looked over at her and she was looking at me. It must be love.
  • look round
    meaning – inspect a building or explore somewhere
    example – I’ve been looking round town all afternoon but, I can’t find anything to wear to the party.
  • look through
    meaning – read quickly or search for something among a lot of things
    example – I love looking through the paper with a big mug of tea.
  • look to
    meaning – hope to do something
    example – Rangers look to build a new stadium if they get promoted.
  • look up
    meaning – search for some information or turn your eyes to the sky
    example – I’m looking up but, I can’t see a hot air balloon.
  • look up to
    meaning – admire/respect
    example – All the young boys look up to Ronaldo. He’s a great football player.

picture examples

phrasal verbs with look

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘look’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with look - look after
phrasal verbs with look - look at
phrasal verbs with look - look away
phrasal verbs with look - look back
phrasal verbs with look - look down on
phrasal verbs with look - look for
phrasal verbs with look - look forward to
phrasal verbs with look - look in on
phrasal verbs with look - look into
phrasal verbs with look - look on
phrasal verbs with look - look out for
phrasal verbs with look - look out
phrasal verbs with look - look over
phrasal verbs with look - look round
phrasal verbs with look - look through
phrasal verbs with look - look to
phrasal verbs with look - look up
phrasal verbs with look - look up

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with look below.

Did you know that many idiomatic expressions (idioms) in English also contain a lot of verbs? Just like phrasal verbs, idioms are a major part of the English language (slang in particular). They are used constantly amongst native English speakers and are handy to know and understand.


Now you’ve learnt all the phrasal verbs with look, how about learning the idioms with look too?