American English

Definition of sight noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    ability to see
  1. 1[uncountable] the ability to see synonym eyesight to lose your sight (= to become blind) She has very good sight. The disease has affected her sight. He has very little sight in his right eye.
  2. act of seeing
  3. 2[uncountable] sight of somebody/something the act of seeing someone or something After ten days at sea, we had our first sight of land. I have been known to faint at the sight of blood. The soldiers were given orders to shoot on sight (= as soon as they saw someone). She caught sight of a car in the distance. The mere sight of him makes me want to scream.
  4. how far you can see
  5. 3[uncountable] the area or distance within which someone can see or something can be seen There was no one in sight. They stole everything in sight. At last we came in sight of a few houses. A bicycle came into sight on the main road. The end is in sight (= will happen soon). Leave any valuables in your car out of sight. Keep out of sight (= stay where you cannot be seen). She never lets her daughter out of her sight (= always keeps her where she can see her). Get out of my sight! (= Go away!) The boat disappeared from sight. The house was hidden from sight behind some trees. He had placed himself directly in my line of sight.
  6. what you can see
  7. 4[countable] a thing that you see or can see It's a spectacular sight as the flamingos lift into the air. The museum attempts to recreate the sights and sounds of 19th-century New Orleans. He was a sorry sight, soaked to the skin and shivering. The bird is now a rare sight in this country. He became a familiar sight on the streets of Berkeley. Thesaurusviewsight scene panoramaThese are all words for a thing that you can see, especially from a particular place.view what you can see from a particular place or position, especially beautiful natural scenery:The cottage had an amazing ocean view.sight a thing that you see or can see, especially something that is impressive or unusual:It's a spectacular sight as the flamingos lift into the air.scene a view that you see, especially one with people and/or animals moving about and doing things:It was a pleasant rural scene.panorama a view of a wide area of land:The mountain's peak offers a breathtaking panorama of Phoenix.Patterns a view/panorama of something a beautiful/breathtaking view/sight/scene/panorama a magnificent/spectacular view/sight/panorama to take in the view/sight/scene to admire the view/sight
  8. interesting places
  9. 5sights [plural] the interesting places, especially in a town or city, that are often visited by tourists We're going to San Francisco for the weekend to see the sights. It's best if you can get someone local to show you the sights.
  10. on gun/telescope
  11. 6[countable, usually plural] a device that you look through to aim a gun, etc., or to look at something through a telescope, etc. He had the deer in his sights now. (figurative) Even as a young actress, she always had Hollywood firmly in her sights (= as her final goal).
  12. Thesaurussightview visionThese are all words for the area or distance that you can see from a particular position.sight the area or distance that you can see from a particular position:He looked up the street, but there was no one in sight. Leave any valuables in your car out of sight.view (somewhat formal) the area or distance that you can see from a particular position:The lake soon came into view. Our hotel room had amazing views of the the area that you can see from a particular position:The couple moved out of her field of vision (= the total area you can see from a particular position).sight, view, or vision?View is more literary than sight or vision. It is the only word for talking about how well you can see something:I didn't have a good sight/vision of the stage.Vision must always be used with a possessive pronoun:my/his/her etc. (field of) vision. It is not used with the prepositions in, into, and out of that are very frequent with sight and view:There was nobody in vision. A tall figure came into vision.Patterns in/out of sight/view in/within sight/view >of>something to come into/disappear from sight/view/somebody's vision to come in sight/view >of>somebody/something to block somebody's view/vision somebody's line of sight/vision somebody's field of view/visionIdioms
      at first sight
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    1. 1when you first begin to consider something At first sight, it may look like a generous offer, but always read the small print.
    2. 2when you see someone or something for the first time It was love at first sight (= we fell in love the first time we saw each other). We fell in love with the house at first sight.
    hate, be sick of, etc. the sight of somebody/something (informal)
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    to hate, etc. someone or something very much I can't stand the sight of him!
    heave into sight/view (formal)
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    (especially of ships) to appear, especially when moving gradually closer from a long way off A ship hove into sight. Like a galleon in full sail, Cara hove into view. Hove is usually used for the past tense and past participle in this idiom.
    in plain sight/view
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    in a place that is very obvious; not hidden His laptop was stolen when he left it in plain sight in his car.
    in the sight of somebody/in somebody's sight (formal)
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    in someone's opinion We are all equal in the sight of God.
    know somebody by sight
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    to recognize someone without knowing them well
      lose sight of somebody/something
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    1. 1to become no longer able to see someone or something They finally lost sight of land.
    2. 2to stop considering something; to forget something We don't want to lose sight of our original aim.
    not a pretty sight (humorous)
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    not pleasant to look at You should have seen him in his swimming trunks—not a pretty sight!
    nowhere to be found/seen, nowhere in sight
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    impossible for anyone to find or see The children were nowhere to be seen. A peace settlement is nowhere in sight (= is not likely in the near future).
    out of sight, out of mind (saying)
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    used to say someone will quickly be forgotten when they are no longer with you
    raise/lower your sights
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    to expect more/less from a situation If they can't afford such a big house, they'll just have to lower their sights a little.
    set your sights on something/on doing something
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    to decide that you want something and to try very hard to get it She's set her sights on getting into Harvard. I had set my sights on a career in journalism.
    a (damn, etc.) sight better, etc., a (damn, etc.) sight too good, etc. (informal)
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    very much better; much too good, etc. She's done a damn sight better than I did. It's worth a damn sight more than I thought.
    a sight for sore eyes (informal)
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    a person or thing that you are pleased to see
    sight unseen
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    if you buy something sight unseen, you do not have an opportunity to see it before you buy it
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sight