Definition of sight in English:

sight

Line breaks: sight
Pronunciation: /sʌɪt
 
/

noun

1 [mass noun] The faculty or power of seeing: Joseph lost his sight as a baby [as modifier]: a sight test
More example sentences
  • Likewise, the quality of each sense perception is embodied as a sense consciousness - sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
  • Our brain gets stimulatory inputs through the special sensory stimuli of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.
  • So in addition to the usual five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, the mental function is counted as the sixth.
Synonyms
eyesight, vision, eyes, faculty of sight, power of sight, ability to see, visual perception, observation
1.1The action or fact of seeing someone or something: I’ve always been scared of the sight of blood
More example sentences
  • We had not one look, glance, sight, glimpse, sound, whisper, touch, tap, smell, scent.
  • Yet worse then all that was the fact that the very sight of him made her hunger for his touch all over again…
  • The sight of the blood and the use of the blade were obviously the key to his sexuality, according to forensic psychologists.
Synonyms
1.2The area or distance within which someone can see or something can be seen: he now refused to let Rose out of his sight
More example sentences
  • For some time now dog snatching has been prevalent in our area and all dogs should be within sight at all times.
  • Indeed, you can find some marvellous fishing within sight and sound of Copenhagen airport itself.
  • The men were drowned within sight and sound and near touching distance of frantic relatives.
Synonyms
1.3 dated A person’s view or consideration: we are all equal in the sight of God
More example sentences
  • The first step on the road to heaven for each of us is to realize our true spiritual state in the sight of God.
  • The prelude to this is the acknowledgement that all people are equal in the sight of God, which is the enduring logic for the juridical equality of all citizens.
  • Vigilance and piety prevailed over the brute force of nature, and Juliet and John are married in the sight of God as well as of the State of New Jersey.
Synonyms
perception, judgement, belief, opinion, point of view, view, viewpoint, outlook, observation; thought(s), thinking, way of thinking, mind, perspective, standpoint; verdict, estimation, feeling, sentiment, impression, idea, notion
2A thing that one sees or that can be seen: John was a familiar sight in the bar for many years he was getting used to seeing unpleasant sights
More example sentences
  • Traditional Dutch street organs are a familiar sight in Holland as you would expect, but Territorians don't have to travel overseas to see and hear them.
  • Over the next three years, the bus became a familiar sight to local residents, was visited by the Queen, and won a national award presented by Princess Anne.
  • It's a familiar sight in the middle of the Christmas table or perhaps in a living room window, but their creator explains that one of the four candles should be lit during each week of December.
2.1 (sights) Places of interest to tourists and visitors in a city, town, or other place: she offered to show me the sights
More example sentences
  • Most of the city's top tourist sights lie within a single wide bend in the river.
  • They want McDonald's to take down the outsize golden arches that obscure some of the city's tourist sights.
  • Usually, it is the final stop of foreign tourists looking for pretty sights and interesting places to the north of Varna.
Synonyms
landmark, place of interest, thing worth seeing, (distinctive/prominent) feature, monument, spectacle, scene, view, area, landscape, display, show, exhibition, curiosity, rarity, beauty, marvel, wonder, splendour
informal something to write home about
2.2 (a sight) informal A person or thing having a ridiculous, repulsive, or dishevelled appearance: ‘I must look a frightful sight,’ she said
More example sentences
  • I must have been a sight in my blood stained wedding dress and shoes that were still oddly contorted from the crash.
  • Clad in my nightgown and untied work boots, I must have been a sight.
Synonyms
eyesore, spectacle, monstrosity, horror, mess
informal fright, blot on the landscape
3 (usually sights) A device on a gun or optical instrument used for assisting a person’s precise aim or observation: there were reports of a man on the roof aiming a rifle and looking through its sights
More example sentences
  • And they said the same things but they added that some of their weapons, thermal sights and night vision devices needed updating.
  • Today's armoured battle might take place at night, using thermal imaging devices that are in many ways better than optical sights even on a clear day.
  • There are backup open sights in case the optical sight becomes damaged or is removed.

verb

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1 [with object] Manage to see or observe (someone or something); catch an initial glimpse of: tell me when you sight London Bridge
More example sentences
  • Once prey is sighted it is caught by a short, steep dive from the perch.
  • When one observer sighted a whale or whales at the surface, the other would record data.
  • When a scout has sighted a rhino he radios the camp and interested parties then drive and walk to where the [usually sleeping] rhino has been seen.
Synonyms
glimpse, catch/get a glimpse of, catch sight of, see, spot, spy, notice, observe, make out, pick out, detect, have sight of
literary espy, behold, descry
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Take aim by looking through the sights of a gun: she sighted down the barrel
More example sentences
  • I sighted carefully down the barrel of my pistol and fired.
  • I yelped and drew my pistol out of its holster faster than I have ever drawn in my life, raised the weapon and sighted down the barrel.
  • He sighted over the barrel of his Winchester and blew apart the skull of the drone nearest to him.
2.1Take a detailed visual measurement of something with or as with a sight: he had to sight along the planks in the proper order to get the line right
More example sentences
  • You can also check the alignment of the posts in one direction by sighting from one end of the row of posts to the other.
2.2 [with object] Adjust the sight of (a firearm or optical instrument): even when using binoculars, it is difficult to sight the lens angle in reverse
More example sentences
  • Your rifle has been carefully sighted, and will shoot into 2 inches at 200 yards.
  • Adjustment knobs allow the rifle to be sighted in at, say, 100 yards and then reset to zero.
  • The point is that an accurate rifle, properly sighted in, will help every shooter, regardless of skill level, make the most of the skill he has.

Origin

Old English (ge)sihth 'something seen', of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch zicht and German Gesicht 'sight, face, appearance'. The verb dates from the mid 16th century (in sense 2 of the verb).

Usage

On the confusion of sight and site, see site (usage).

Phrases

at first sight

On first seeing or meeting someone: it was love at first sight
More example sentences
  • I guess this proves I don't believe in love at first sight.
  • It was love at first sight - a cosy, comfortable intoxication.
  • After years of loneliness following their spouses' deaths, they met at a senior citizens centre and fell in love at first sight.
From an initial impression: the debate is more complex than it seems at first sight
More example sentences
  • The experience was an intense thrill, because the nature of the object was apparent at first sight.
  • It was an impressive list, though, at first sight, many of the themes and promises had a familiar feel.
  • It is a curious show which, while at first sight might appear to be an uncomfortable mix of high art and popular culture, in effect works surprisingly well.

catch (or get a) sight of

Glimpse for a moment; suddenly notice: when she caught sight of him she smiled
More example sentences
  • Before closing my eyes I catch sight of a notice posted on the dormitory door.
  • Suddenly, your catch sight of the advertising placard behind the table.
  • Suddenly, he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror and gasped in horror.
Synonyms
glimpse, catch/get a glimpse of, see, spot, spy, notice, observe, make out, discern, pick out, sight, detect, have sight of
literary espy, behold, descry

in sight

Visible: no other vehicle was in sight
More example sentences
  • Sometimes on a country road you hit the traffic flow just right and find yourself in a kind of moving bubble where there are no other vehicles in sight fore or aft.
  • They can easily turn into mobs, stoning everything in sight, private vehicles not excluded.
  • I always signal, even if there's no other vehicle or person in sight.
Near at hand; close to being achieved or realized: the minister insisted that agreement was in sight
More example sentences
  • A grandiose scandal was sparked - with no end in sight in the near future.
  • There appears to be no end in sight to the indefinite strike at Rossington Colliery, near Doncaster.
  • Today, there's no price relief in sight for motorists at the bowser.

in (or within) sight of

So as to see or be seen from: I climbed the hill and came in sight of the house
More example sentences
  • He still denies murdering eight-year-old stepdaughter Zoe and dumping her body in a badger sett on a hill within sight of the family's home in Pepper Place.
  • Apart from 16 years when Mr Merritt lived at Potterne, he spent all his life within sight of Roundway Hill.
  • She got within sight of the first hill she had climbed and that's when she saw the car.
Within reach of; close to attaining: he was safe for the moment and in sight of victory
More example sentences
  • Riki Wessels, the son of Northants coach Kepler, made a promising 26 and Damien Wright weighed in with 32 as the home side closed within sight of a full hand of batting points.
  • Daniel was unbeaten at the close, in sight of his eighth first-class century - but Western Province are still 187 behind going into the final day.
  • Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski maintained their unbeaten doubles record in the competition to put Britain within sight of a memorable victory in the first-round World Group tie.

in (or within) one's sights

Visible, especially through the sights of one’s gun: make sure we don’t lose the quarry once we have him in our sights figurative the company was quick to stress that it has no other hostile targets in its sights
More example sentences
  • I sighted Ruckil's head in my sights and pulled the trigger.
  • Forget hot hatches with expensive stereo systems, car thieves in Scotland have a lucrative new target in their sights: farmers' quad bikes.
  • Traffic wardens have a new target in their sights - buses.
Within the scope of one’s ambitions or expectations: he had the prize firmly in his sights
More example sentences
  • Their relentless progression to the day of destiny has been great to follow and, with the prize now firmly in their sights, few would bet against them moving into overdrive in the final.
  • Bartnett consistently scored well but Mooring had the title firmly fixed within his sights and clinched the best of five with 19, then 21 darts.
  • Due to their generosity and the troop's hard work, the replacement motor-powered boat is now firmly in our sights.

lose sight of

Be no longer able to see: when night fell, the crew lost sight of the strange monster
More example sentences
  • Mr Purvis and a local fire fighter were lifted by helicopter from an area on the front line when air crew lost sight of the men through the smoke.
  • I lost sight of him but assumed he would be able to keep himself occupied.
  • Natalia stopped in front of the waterfall, once again losing sight of Aeden and not being able to find him again.
Fail to consider, be aware of, or remember: we should not lose sight of the fact that the issues involved are moral ones
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, it is a little disturbing that both commercial and public broadcasters seem to have lost sight of what viewers consider viable.
  • In the process it lost sight of what Lebensphilosophie considered more real - the intuitive perception.
  • He added that people are failing to lose sight of some of the work that's already being done to help correct this problem.

not a pretty sight

informal Not a pleasant spectacle or situation: the squid aren’t a pretty sight, but they taste tender and rich all directors grow up, and in this film the result is not a pretty sight
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, with the exception of the Aussies in their semi-final, running rugby has been confined to games in which one team is being pulverised, and that's not a pretty sight either.
  • It's not a pretty sight on the town's streets to see lines of cigarette butts thrown all over the pavement.
  • I now officially have a tan line half way down my upper arm since I was wearing a t-shirt with sleeves - not a pretty sight…

on (or at) sight

As soon as someone or something has been seen: in Africa, paramilitary game wardens shoot poachers on sight
More example sentences
  • Militias have been given authority to shoot bush meat poachers on sight in the Central African Republic.
  • Nothing says trust like Delta Force, ready to shoot anyone on sight.
  • Police, who claim to have deployed 17,000 officers in the city, have been given orders to shoot on sight to avoid disorder.

out of sight

1Not visible: she saw them off, waving until the car was out of sight
More example sentences
  • He described how the car went out of sight before there was a flash.
  • When a friend warned him police were near, and fearing they may think he had been driving, he tried to take the car out of sight.
  • But as soon as he was out of sight of his car the officer realised he had left his keys in the ignition and radioed for help.
Synonyms
hidden, concealed, not visible, unseen, invisible, screened, covered, disguised, camouflaged, obscured, secret; inconspicuous, unnoticeable; private, privy; secreted, tucked away
2 (also outasight) [often as exclamation] informal Extremely good; excellent: he would occasionally interrupt the liturgy to comment ‘out of sight’ to the band [as modifier]: outasight funk from Mr Superbad and much more
More example sentences
  • His band is out of sight all the way through this album.

out of sight, out of mind

proverb You soon forget people or things that are no longer visible or present: he’ll be locked away for the rest of his life—out of sight, out of mind
More example sentences
  • In my state of Texas, for example, legislators ‘fixed’ their budget shortfall by tossing some 250,000 children out of the state health care program - out of sight, out of mind.
  • I think they just thought it was another place, you know - out of sight, out of mind - and a lot of good people would go by these places and never realise what was going on inside.
  • The water treatment was out of sight, out of mind.

(get) out of my sight!

Go away at once!.
More example sentences
  • Willie is surprised, but Harrison repeats ‘I said get out of my sight!’
  • Get the hell out of my sight!
  • You are going to get more if you don't shut up and get the hell out of my sight!

raise (or lower) one's sights

Become more (or less) ambitious; increase (or lower) one’s expectations: if it fails to reach that minimum, they can either lower their sights or take the property off the market
More example sentences
  • If the coach continually voices such limited expectations then his players are unlikely to raise their sights very much higher.
  • The company lowered their sights in May to ask for an average yearly increase of 7.8 per cent over five years, including rises of more than 10 per cent in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
  • It has forced us to lower our sights, and curtail our expectations.

set one's sights on

Have as an ambition; hope strongly to achieve or reach: Katherine set her sights on university
More example sentences
  • There's a lot more to the man than meets the eye, and I wouldn't bet against him achieving anything he sets his sights on.
  • Achieve all that you set your sights on and treat others how you wish to be treated.
  • Yes - lovely chap, though obviously I had hoped she had set her sights on someone higher than a retail manager…
Synonyms
aspire to, aim at/for, try for, strive for/towards, work towards, be after, want, seek, have in view, think of, hope for

a sight ——

informal Much; to a considerable extent: the old lady is a sight cleverer than Sarah he’s a sight too full of himself
More example sentences
  • Yet it uses a sight less fuel (42.8mpg against 35.3mpg) and produces significantly less carbon dioxide (156 compared with 170g/km).
  • I doubt it'll beat OJ - last he told me, he was actually in credit - but it's a sight less than I'd been anticipating.
  • Death is a sight preferable to what will happen to you.

a sight for sore eyes

informal A person or thing that one is extremely pleased or relieved to see: the mighty Cairngorms are a sight for sore eyes in any rambler’s book
More example sentences
  • It was a sight for sore eyes, and ears, and rounded off a great day.
  • She recalled how on seeing her a huge cheer went up and an American GI yelled: ‘Lady, you are a sight for sore eyes.’
  • Landlady Kathy Short said it was a sight for sore eyes for the 200 people who had gathered for the all-singing, all-dancing show.

a sight to behold

A person or thing that is particularly impressive or worth seeing: Selwyn’s garden was a sight to behold
More example sentences
  • ‘The sheer majesty of this giant planet with her moons is a sight to behold and our telescope can pick this up beautifully,’ he says.
  • I've seen him full throttle, and that's quite a sight to behold.
  • Neat rows of colourful dolls, all resembling little children with neatly combed hair, and dressed in flowing garments, were a sight to behold.

Derivatives

sighter

noun
More example sentences
  • If you feel as though you need a few sighters that's OK.
  • After missing a couple of early sighters, Carter kicked goals from all points of the compass.
  • Then Cole got his first sighter after more good work from the industrious Neill but his shot crept wide of the far post.

More definitions of sight

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