look askance(redirected from they look askance)
To view or regard (someone or 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 upon these institutions, but I believe they are beneficial to the public.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer