Meaning of SIGHT in English


I. sight 1 S2 W2 /saɪt/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ sight , ↑ insight , ↑ oversight , ↑ sighting ; adjective : ↑ sighted , ↑ unsightly , ↑ sightless , ↑ insightful ; verb : ↑ sight ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: gesiht ]

1 . ABILITY TO SEE [uncountable] the physical ability to see SYN vision :

Anne’s sight is very good for someone of her age.

He began to lose his sight six years ago.

an emergency operation to save his sight

You will get a free sight test if you are under 16.

2 . ACT OF SEEING [singular, uncountable] the act of seeing something

sight of

Just the sight of him made her go all weak.

at the sight of something

Marcie will faint at the sight of blood.

The house is hidden from sight behind trees.

3 . THING YOU SEE [countable]

a) something you can see

familiar/common/rare etc sight

Street dentists are a common sight in Pakistan.

As he reached the front door, he saw a strange sight.

the sights and sounds of the forest

⇨ not a pretty sight at ↑ pretty 2 (3), ⇨ sorry sight at ↑ sorry (8)

b) the sights [plural] famous or interesting places that tourists visit:

In the afternoon, you’ll have a chance to relax or see the sights.

the sights of

So, Maria’s showing you the sights of Copenhagen, is she?

⇨ ↑ sightseeing

4 . in/within sight

a) inside the area that you can see:

I glanced around me quickly. There was no one in sight.

They burned every house in sight.

The boys get home and eat everything in sight.

Since my hotel was within sight, I told him he could go.

b) likely to happen soon:

Six months from the start of the strike, there is still no end in sight.

Peace is now in sight.

5 . within/in sight of something

a) in the area where you can see something:

We camped within sight of the lake.

At last they came in sight of the city.

b) in a position where you will soon be able to get something or achieve something:

Dan was now within sight of the championship.

6 . in your sights if you have someone or something in your sights, you intend to achieve it or get it for yourself, or to attack them

have somebody/something in your sights

Rogers had victory firmly in his sights.

7 . out of sight outside the area that you can see:

Karen waved until the car was out of sight.

8 . out of sight, out of mind used to say that people soon stop thinking about something or someone if they do not see them for a while

9 . disappear/vanish from sight to disappear:

‘Will she be all right?’ asked Jen as the car disappeared from sight.

10 . come into sight to appear:

when the ship at last came into sight

11 . on sight as soon as you see someone:

The army has been ordered to shoot rebel soldiers on sight.

Jo disliked him on sight.

12 . not let somebody out of your sight to make sure that someone stays near you:

Since the accident, Donna hasn’t let the children out of her sight.

13 . be sick of/can’t stand/hate the sight of somebody/something to dislike someone or something very much:

Alan and Sam can’t stand the sight of each other.

Everybody hates the sight of you.

14 . a sight for sore eyes spoken

a) someone or something that you feel very happy to see

b) British English someone or something that is very unattractive or very funny to look at

15 . a (damn/darned/darn) sight more/better etc informal a lot more, a lot better etc:

I know the place a damn sight better than you do.

The old lady is a sight cleverer than Sarah.

16 . be a sight ( also look a sight ) to look very funny or stupid, or very untidy or unpleasant:

We’d had an all-night party, and the place looked a bit of a sight.

17 . sight unseen if you buy or choose something sight unseen, you do it without looking at the thing first:

I can’t believe you would rent a place sight unseen.

18 . be a (beautiful/strange/frightening etc) sight to behold formal used to emphasize that something or someone looks very unusual, for example because they are very beautiful, strange, or frightening:

His garden was a sight to behold.

His face was not a pleasant sight to behold.

19 .

GUN [countable usually plural] the part of a gun or other weapon that guides your eye when you are aiming at something

⇨ at first sight at ↑ first 1 (6), ⇨ know somebody by sight at ↑ know 1 (3), ⇨ lose sight of something at ↑ lose (1), ⇨ set your mind/sights/heart on (doing) something at ↑ set 1 (13)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ good sight

Many types of fish have good sight.

▪ poor sight

His sight was quite poor.

▪ failing sight (=becoming worse)

He ran the business until failing sight forced him to retire.

■ verbs

▪ lose your sight

As the result of a severe illness, she lost her sight at the age of twelve.

▪ save sb’s sight

Surgeons believe they can save her sight.

▪ sb’s sight fails (=gets much worse)

He was in his seventies when his sight began to fail.

■ sight + NOUN

▪ a sight test

If your sight test shows that you need glasses, the optician will give you a prescription.

• • •


■ something that you see

▪ sight something that you see:

A herd of elephants is a magnificent sight.


Even Charles cheered up at the sight of the food.

▪ view the area you can see from a window or place, especially when it is beautiful:

The view from the top of the mountain is amazing.


The hotel has great views of Lake Windermere.


We had a good view of the firework display.

▪ panorama an impressive view of a very large area that stretches a long way across in front of you:

a panorama of snow-covered hills and mountains

▪ vista written a view of a large area of beautiful scenery – used in written descriptions:

The road around the island offers some spectacular vistas.

▪ scene what you see in a place, especially where people are moving around and doing things:

Reporters described the horrific scenes which followed the bombing.


His pictures are mainly of local scenes.

▪ spectacle something that you see that is very unusual, surprising, or strange:

It must have been an unusual spectacle.


I leaned over the balcony to get a look at the spectacle below.

▪ visuals [plural] pictures or parts of a film, video etc that people can see, as opposed to the parts you can hear:

Good visuals will help keep your audience’s attention.

II. sight 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ sight , ↑ insight , ↑ oversight , ↑ sighting ; adjective : ↑ sighted , ↑ unsightly , ↑ sightless , ↑ insightful ; verb : ↑ sight ]

to see something from a long distance away, or see something you have been looking for:

The sailors gave a shout of joy when they sighted land.

Several rare birds have been sighted in the area.

• • •


▪ see to notice something with your eyes, usually without planning to. Also used when saying that you watched a particular programme, film, game etc:

Have you seen my keys anywhere?


Did you see the basketball game last night?

▪ look at somebody/something to keep your eyes pointed toward someone or something, especially someone or something that is not moving:

I looked at the map.


She was looking at him in a strange way.

▪ notice to see something interesting or unusual:

I noticed a police car outside their house.

▪ spot to suddenly see something, especially something you are looking for:

Nick spotted the advertisement in the paper.

▪ catch sight of/catch a glimpse of ( also glimpse formal ) to suddenly see someone or something for a short time, usually not clearly:

I caught sight of him in the hotel lobby, and followed him out the door.


He glimpsed her face as she went into the courtroom.

▪ make out somebody/something to see something, but only with difficulty:

Ahead, I could just make out the figure of a woman.

▪ witness to see something happen, especially a crime or an accident:

The police are asking anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward.

▪ observe formal to see and pay attention to something:

Officers observed him driving at 100 mph.

▪ sight especially written to suddenly see something or someone from a long distance, especially when you have been looking for a long time:

The missing boys were sighted by a rescue helicopter.


The crew finally sighted land.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.