look like a million bucks


look like a million bucks
also, look like a million dollars


  • used to compliment someone’s overall appearance, including their outfit, grooming, and demeanor.
  • used to say when someone has put significant effort into their look and feel.
  • can also imply that someone looks prosperous, successful, or well-off.
  • also refer to the aura of confidence, elegance, and sophistication that someone projects.

Example Sentences

  1. Emily looks like a million dollars in that dress; it’s absolutely stunning on her.
  2. After the makeover, she looked like a million bucks with her radiant smile and elegant style.
  3. In his tailored suit and polished shoes, he looked like a million dollars, ready to close any deal.
  4. She walked into the room looking like a million bucks, her confidence and grace turning heads.
  5. After the vacation, he looked like a million dollars, rejuvenated and full of energy.
  6. With her new haircut and impeccable outfit, she looks like a million bucks—truly impressive and polished.

Origin and History

The term “bucks” as slang for dollars originated in the early American frontier days. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the frontier economy often used barter, with deer skins (buckskins) being a primary item of trade. People highly valued these buckskins and used them as a form of currency. Over time, “buck” became synonymous with a unit of trade, and eventually it transitioned to refer to dollars as formal currency became more common.

The cultural and economic context of the early 20th century in the United States gave rise to the phrase “look like a million bucks.” Here’s a detailed explanation:

The idiom likely emerged during the early 1900s, a period marked by significant economic fluctuations, including the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. During these times, the concept of having a million dollars was synonymous with immense wealth, success, and luxury. The idea of looking like a million bucks meant appearing as though one possessed considerable wealth and status, which was highly aspirational.

The phrase evolved from the broader use of money-related expressions to describe high quality or desirability. For example, similar idioms like “worth a million” or “worth its weight in gold” were already in circulation. These phrases use money’s value to convey worthiness and excellence. “Look like a million bucks” specifically tied appearance to financial success, suggesting that someone looked as impressive and valuable as a million dollars.

The “Records and Briefs of the United States Supreme Court,” published in 1819 by Harvard University, contain the earliest example of the expression:

Near the close of the trial, Korcoulis again talked with DeNies regarding the trial and particularly about respondent’s witness finder, who, Korcoulis said, “looked like a million dollars.”


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