17 other words for ‘look’

The word ‘look’ is very common in English, yet there are many other different words you can use instead to be more specific and make your writing more interesting.

Here are some synonyms for ‘look’ when someone looks briefly:

glanceThe driver glanced right, then turned into the main road.
glimpseThey glimpsed smoke on the horizon.
peekShe peeked at him through a crack in the wall.
peepThen he realised that someone was peeping through the keyhole.

When someone looks at something carefully¸ try one of these words:  

examineExamine this,” said Mr Parnevik, pointing to the microscope.
observeThe police officers observed the house from their unmarked car.
peerWithout his specs, Harry was forced to peer at the notice.
scrutiniseIndependent experts scrutinised the process to ensure it was fair.
studyJavier spent some time studying the game’s instruction booklet.

You could use the following synonyms if you look at something for a long time:

feast your eyes onI feasted my eyes on the vast array of cakes.
gazeRupert gazed lovingly at his new bike.
viewFor some time, the artist viewed the paintings in the gallery.

You could use other words to describe looking at something in a rude way, for example:

gawp“Stop gawping at me!” hissed Beth.
gawkThe youth continued to gawk at her and did not answer.
stare“It’s rude to stare,” I whispered.

If you look at something in surprise, you might want to use these synonyms:

gapeMum said she gaped when she saw the size of the Grand Canyon.
goggleI goggled at the huge present before me. I could hardly believe my eyes.

Look at the Thesaurus entry for look to find other synonyms and examples.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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