Definition of sight noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary




ability to see

1 [uncountable] the ability to see synonym eyesightto 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.

act of seeing

2 [uncountable] sight of someone/something the act of seeing someone or somethingAfter 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.

how far you can see

3 [uncountable] the area or distance within which someone can see or something can be seenThere 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.

what you can see

4 [countable] a thing that you see or can seeIt'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.

interesting places

5 sights [plural] the interesting places, especially in a town or city, that are often visited by touristsWe'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.

on gun/telescope

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).

at first sight

1 when you first begin to consider somethingAt first sight, it may look like a generous offer, but always read the small print.2 when you see someone or something for the first timeIt 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 first sight

hate, be sick of, etc. the sight of someone/something

(informal) to hate, etc. someone or something very muchI can't stand the sight of him!hate, be sick of, etc. the sight of

heave into sight/view

(formal) (especially of ships) to appear, especially when moving gradually closer from a long way offA ship hove into sight.Like a galleon in full sail, Cara hove into Hove is usually used for the past tense and past participle in this idiom.heave into sightheave into view

in the sight of someone/in someone's sight

(formal) in someone's opinionWe are all equal in the sight of the sight of sightin the sight of in sight

know someone by sight

to recognize someone without knowing them well
know by sight

lose sight of someone/something

1 to become no longer able to see someone or somethingThey finally lost sight of land.2 to stop considering something; to forget somethingWe don't want to lose sight of our original aim.lose sight of

not a pretty sight

(humorous) not pleasant to look atYou should have seen him in his swimming trunks—not a pretty sight!not a pretty sight

nowhere to be found/seen


nowhere in sight

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).nowhere to be foundnowhere to be seen

out of sight, out of mind

(saying) used to say someone will quickly be forgotten when they are no longer with youout of sight, out of mind

plain old (someone/something)

not special or complicated
Avoid antibiotics and try plain old soap and water.plain old

raise/lower your sights

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.raise your sightslower your sights

set your sights on something/on doing something

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.set your sights on doingset your sights on on doing

a (damn, etc.) sight better, etc.


a (damn, etc.) sight too good, etc.

(informal) 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 better, etc.a damn, etc. sight better, etc.

a sight for sore eyes

(informal) a person or thing that you are pleased to seea sight for sore eyes

sight unseen

if you buy something sight unseen, you do not have an opportunity to see it before you buy it
sight unseen
Usage noteUsage note: sightview 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.patternsin/out of sight/viewin/within sight/view of somethingto come into/disappear from sight/view/someone's visionto come in sight/view of someone/somethingto block someone's view/visionsomeone's line of sight/visionsomeone's field of view/visionUsage noteUsage note: viewsight 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.patternsa view/panorama of somethinga beautiful/breathtaking view/sight/scene/panoramaa magnificent/spectacular view/sight/panoramato take in the view/sight/sceneto admire the view/sight