1. Literally, to try to see a point past someone or something. If you look beyond the monument, you can see the country's legislative building in the distance. The teacher looked beyond the student asking the question to the empty desk at the back of the classroom.
2. To anticipate, plan for, or look forward to a time in the future after some event or situation. We're already looking beyond this loss to the election in 2075. You need to look beyond this one decision and see the bigger picture of our company's future.
3. To ignore, disregard, or forgive something; to overlook something. We're willing to look beyond the incident this time, seeing as it was your first offense, but any future transgressions will result in an immediate termination from the company. What she said was insulting, but she apologized, so I'm going to look beyond it.
4. To accept, feel better about, move on from, or come to terms with something. Try to look beyond the short-term problems and realize the potential this project has for long-term benefits. If you can look beyond its goofy-looking exterior, this car is actually very well made and exceptionally fast.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
look beyond someone or something
1. Lit. to try to see to a point farther than someone or something. Look beyond Claire at the forest in the distance. Look beyond the house and see what you can spot in the trees behind it.
2. Fig. to try to think or plan further than someone or something. Sally will be gone soon. Look beyond Sally and decide whom you want to hire. Look beyond Tom. Think about how you will deal with the next person who has Tom's job.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.