Un coup d'œil

Two young businessmen on couch looking at each other's papers
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Expression: Un coup d'œil

Pronunciation: [koo deuy]

Meaning: glance, glimpse, quick look

Literal translation: blow/stroke of the eye

Register: Normal


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


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

   filer 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

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