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1. To turn one's gaze or attention from something else. In this usage, "look up" is a set phrase. Can you please look up from that book for a second? I'm trying to talk to you!
2. To use a book or other similar resource to find information. Can you look up the definition of this word for me?
3. To contact someone. Be sure to look me up if you're ever in New York.
4. To improve or become better. In this usage, "look up" is a set phrase typically used in the present tense ("looking up"). My freelance business is finally looking up—I've had potential clients calling me non-stop!
5. To view someone with admiration and esteem. In this usage, the phrase is "look up to (someone or something)." Of course I look up to you—you're my big sister!
Appearing as if improvement will begin or continue into the future. Now that businesses have started returning, the country's economy is finally looking up.
look someone or something upand hunt someone or something up
1. to seek someone, a group, or something out. I lost track of Sally. I'll try to look her up and get in touch with her. lam going to look up an old friend when lam in Chicago. I am going to hunt that old gang up. Ted came into town and looked up his favorite pizza place.
2. to seek information about someone or something in a book or listing. I don't recognize his name. I'll look him up and see what I can find. I'll look up this person in a reference book. She looked herself up in the telephone book to make sure her name was spelled correctly.
look up (from something)
to gaze upwards; to stop reading or working and lift one's gaze upward. She looked up from her reading and spoke to us. Mary looked up as we came into the room.
to show promise of improving. My prospects for a job are looking up. Conditions are looking up.
1. Search for in a book or other source, as in I told her to look up the word in the dictionary. [Late 1600s]
2. Call on or visit, as in I'm going to look up my friend in Chicago. [Mid-1800s]
3. Become better, improve, as in Business is finally looking up. [c. 1800]
4. look up to. Admire, respect, as in The students really looked up to Mr. Jones. [Early 1700s]
1. To direct one's gaze upward: Look up at that cloud; it looks like a dog!
2. To search for information about someone or something from a reference source, such as a book or a file system: He looked up the word "gullible" in the dictionary. I forgot her phone number, so I looked it up on the Internet.
3. To seek out and visit or contact someone: We looked up an old friend when we visited Boston. I looked my college roommate up, and we got together to talk about the old days.
4. To become better; improve: Things are looking up now that the weather's better.
5. look up to To hold someone in high regard: I look up to my parents.