Un coup d'œil

Two young businessmen on couch looking at each other's papers
Leland Bobbe / Getty Images
  • Expression: Un coup d'œil
  • Pronunciation: [koo deuy]
  • Meaning: glance, glimpse, quick look
  • Literal translation: blow/stroke of the eye
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Notes

The French expression un coup d'œil indicates a quick glance and can be used with many different verbs. 

Examples

The most common is jeter (to throw):  

 jeter un coup d'œil à / dans / sur

      to glance at / in / on

   jeter un coup d'œil autour de soi

      to glance around (oneself)

   jeter un coup d'œil pour voir si...

      to take a look to see if...

The verb lancer (to throw, hurl, fling) can be used interchangeably with jeter in the above expressions.

Related Expressions

There are some different types of coups d'œil:

  •  un (petit) coup d'œil discret - quick glance, discreet look
  •  un coup d'œil en dessous - shifty look
  •  un coup d'œil furieux - furious glance
  •  un coup d'œil furtif - quick glance, furtive look
  •  un coup d'œil indifférent - perfunctory glance
  •  un coup d'œil rétrospectif - retrospect, look back

Un coup d'œil can also be used with a few other verbs, for various meaning changes:

  • apprécier d'un coup d'œil - to sum up, assess
  • avoir le coup d'œil pour - to have an eye for, have a gift for, be good at spotting
  • iler un coup d'œil (informal) - to take a look
  • jauger d'un coup d'œil - to size up at a glance
  • valoir le coup d'œil - to be worth seeing

More Expressions

  •  au premier coup d'œil - at first glance
  •  un beau coup d'œil - nice view
  •  d'un coup d'œil - at a glance
  •  jeter un œil (informal) - to have a look, check out