Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
look askance at (someone or something)
To view or regard something in a disapproving or distrustful manner. I can't understand why everyone in this club is looking askance at me. Am I not wearing the right clothes? Some people look askance at these institutions, but I believe they are beneficial to the public.
look askance upon (someone or something)
To view or regard something in a disapproving or distrustful manner. Such is the state of politics these days that even the most patriotic citizens tend to look askance upon the manner in which congress conducts business. I know that the Ivy League students may look askance upon a country bumpkin such as myself, but I will show them that I have the mettle to be their equal.
look askance at someone or something
Fig. to be surprised or shocked at someone or something. The teacher looked askance at the student who had acted so rudely. Everyone had looked askance at her efforts as an artist.
View with mistrust, as in They looked askance at him when he said he'd just made a million in the stock market. The precise feeling conveyed by this expression has varied since it was first used in the 1500s, from envy to contempt to suspicion, although the literal meaning was "look obliquely, with a side glance." The present sense dates from about 1800. Also see look sideways.
look askance, to
To view with doubt, suspicion, or mistrust. This term dates back to the sixteenth century and literally means “to look sideways,” but it has had somewhat different significance over the years. Sometimes it meant to look enviously, at other times to look scornfully or contemptuously. The present meaning dates from about 1800, and Washington Irving used it in Tales of a Traveller (1824): “Eyeing the enemy askance from under their broad hats.”
See also: look