Meaning of SEE in English


I. ˈsē verb

( saw ˈsȯ ; or nonstandard seed ˈsēd ; or seen ˈsēn ; seen or nonstandard seed or saw ; seeing ; sees ˈsēz)

Etymology: Middle English seen, sen, from Old English sēon; akin to Old High German sehan to see, Old Norse sjā, Gothic saihwan, Old English secgan to say — more at say

transitive verb


a. : to perceive by the eye : apprehend through sight

opens his eyes to see the sunlight coming in through the window

b. : to perceive as if by sight

it was wonderful what that boy saw who was blind — Stuart Cloete

c. : to detect the presence of

the supersonic streamlining of this vehicle makes it difficult to see by radar — L.N.Ridenour


a. : to have experience of : undergo

saw sea duty on a minesweeper — Current Biography

if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death — Jn 8:51 (Revised Standard Version)

opening for keen, practical, final year student to see dairy cattle and small-animal practice — Veterinary Record

seen better days

see life

b. : to learn or find by observation or experience : come to know : discover

a point of view which I have since seen cause to modify — John Buchan

c. : to find out by investigation : ascertain

see if the hat fits

see if the car needs oil

see who's at the door

d. : to give rise to : be marked by

the late glacial times saw the complete triumph of our ancestral stock — Jacquetta & Christopher Hawkes

e. : to serve as the setting for : be the scene of : witness

that house saw more worry and unhappiness — Virginia D. Dawson & Betty D. Wilson


a. : to form a mental picture of : visualize

can still see her as she was twenty years ago

saw her in his dreams

b. : to perceive the meaning or importance of : comprehend , understand

because the frontier gives shape and life to our national myth, we have preferred to see its story in romantic outline — Dayton Kohler

c. : to be aware of : recognize

planning to fire you tomorrow, because you just can't see a good news story — Sinclair Lewis

sees the folly of further resistance — T.B.Costain

sees only his faults

d. : to form a conception of : imagine as a possibility : suppose

can you see me knowing how to furnish a house — Edith Sitwell

was never whipped … she was so dignified and superior you just couldn't see her across my mother's lap — Myron Brinig

e. : to have presented for observation or consideration : be made aware of

we saw, in the previous lecture, how the problem arose

f. : to look at from a particular point of view

see oursels as others see us — Robert Burns

g. : to look ahead to : foresee

can see the day when a college will not try to cover the whole field of liberal arts — Time


a. : to direct one's attention to : put under observation : examine , scrutinize

want to see how he handles the problem


(1) : to inspect or read understandingly (something written or printed)

have you seen the story of yesterday's game

let me see your pass, soldier

seen and allowed

(2) : to read of

I saw your appointment in the newspapers

c. : to refer to

for further information, see the documents printed in the appendix

see the explanatory notes at the beginning of the book

d. : to attend or visit as an observer or spectator

see a parade

see a play

see the sights of the city


a. : to take care of : provide for

would like him to have enough to see him easily to the end of his days — T.B.Costain

b. : to take care or heed : make sure

see thou say nothing to any man — Mk 1:44 (Authorized Version)

see that your wet umbrella is not placed between your seat and the next — Agnes M. Miall

will see that he is brought up properly


a. : to regard as : consider , judge

the electorate did not see fit to ratify the new frame of government — B.W.Bond

did not see it right to ask for special favors

b. : to prefer to have : allow to happen : welcome

would probably see himself shot before he told a deliberate falsehood — J.G.Cozzens

I'll see you dead before I accept your terms

c. : to regard with approval or liking : find acceptable or attractive

still can't see the portholes but this is our only complaint in an otherwise clean design — Walt Woron

hope you'll be able to make her see it — W.S.Maugham

can't understand what he sees in her



(1) : to make a call upon : visit

stopped off at the office to see his former employer

(2) : to call upon or meet with in order to obtain help or advice

see a doctor

see a lawyer


(1) : to be in the company of regularly or frequently especially in courtship or dating

had been seeing each other for a year before they became engaged

(2) : to grant an interview to or accept the visit of : meet with : receive

the president of the bank will see you in a few minutes

sees only a few old friends these days

(3) : to meet with for the purpose of influencing especially by bribery or pressure

charged that the witness had been seen by the defense


a. : accompany , escort

young men would wait to see the young ladies home — Agnes S. Turnbull

b. : to wait upon : be present with

saw her onto the plane

saw him off at the station

c. : to give continued attention, assistance, or guidance to — used with through

saw a new edition of his book through the press

the sympathy of his friends saw him through this period of grief

9. : to meet (a bet) in poker or to equal the bet of (a player) : call

intransitive verb


a. : to give or pay attention

see , the train is coming

b. : to look about

stood up and fired his pistol in the air, and the naked Indians came out on the shore to see — Meridel Le Sueur


a. : to have the power of sight : have vision

whereas I was blind, now I see — Jn 9:25 (Authorized Version)

he sees poorly with his left eye

b. : to apprehend objects by sight

it was so foggy that he could hardly see

c. : to perceive objects as if by sight

the butterfly lightness that was teaching his fingers to see — Marcia Davenport


a. : to grasp something mentally : have insight : understand

this fundamental bias of all thinking … is what enables us to see , gives thought its real use — H.J.Muller

b. : to take note

these aren't ordinary trout, you see — Corey Ford

c. : consider , think

when can I finish this — let me see


a. : to make investigation or inquiry

you'll see about the rates, won't you — Agnes S. Turnbull

b. : to arrive at a conclusion through observation and experience

I can't give you an answer yet, but we shall see


behold , descry , espy , view , survey , observe , notice , remark , note , perceive , discern : see is broad and general and may stand for any of the other words here

I see you

I see it

behold may be used in situations involving awe, grandeur, or dignity, with suggestions of observant, complete vision

it was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils — Mary W. Shelley

Grecian spectators … when they beheld the innumerable Persian host crossing the Hellespont — George Grote

descry may suggest watchful, careful scanning and observation of the distant or the difficult to view

on a superb day he can descry Greenwich, 28 miles away — New Yorker

espy is similar in suggestion to descry but is more likely to be used to refer to the obscure or covert

flowers we espy beside the torrent growing, flowers that peep forth from many a cleft and chink — William Wordsworth

on these analogies it is not altogether fantastic to espy … the ghost of a Minoan universal church — A.J.Toynbee

view may designate an overall or comprehensive looking at a subject, often from a specific or particular position or in a specific or peculiar way

the little chapel … the white dove … green tufted islands … the youth had long been viewing these pleasant things — John Keats

the effort is an interesting one if you view it in terms of the techniques of political symbolism — Max Lerner

survey , in this sense, may be used in reference to a broad view from a high point or may designate a comprehensive examination of a subject with careful consideration of its salient points

am monarch of all I survey — William Cowper

had plenty of leisure now, day in, day out, to survey her life as a tract of country traversed — Victoria Sackville-West

observe may suggest careful, heedful attention directed and sustained

a genuine scientific process — the play of intellect and imagination around a few fragments of observed fact — Havelock Ellis

the Navy is observing the new programs in the Army and Air Force with interest — Atlantic

notice may suggest careful observation and intention to record or remember

if we tried to notice all the ways in which the idea of beauty has been corrupted — Irving Babbitt

remark and note mean to see or sense and to record or make a mental note

I remarked their English accents — James Joyce

believed that the artist should not number the streaks of the tulip but should remark general properties and large appearances — F.W.Hilles

in these brilliant and gifted inhabitants … one may note a number of characteristics — Geoffrey Bruun

writers are perhaps the best of travelers, since their sharpened senses seize and note impressions — F.B.Millett

perceive may combine the notions of seeing or sensing and of recognizing and realizing

his lightning dashes from image to image, so quick that we are unable at first to perceive the points of contact — C.D.Lewis

what a great novelist at his best perceives in human nature — Bernard De Voto

discern may apply to seeing or perceiving identities or differences which are not immediately obvious

never for a moment discerned that there was in him anything out of the ordinary — W.S.Maugham


see , look , and watch can all mean to perceive something by means of the eyes. see stresses the reception of the visual impression

see clearly with a telescope

have the power of seeing

look stresses the directing of the eyes to something in order to see

look and see the man leave

turn suddenly to look at the man

watch implies a persistent observing or the following of something with the eyes in order to observe fully

watch what a child is up to

a cat watching a mouse

- see about

- see after

- see daylight

- see for

- see one's way

- see red

- see the elephant

- see through

- see to

- see to it

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English se, see, from Old French se, sed, sie seat, throne, see, from Latin sedes seat; akin to Latin sedēre to sit — more at sit


a. archaic : cathedra

b. : a church containing a cathedra : cathedral

c. : a seat or center of the power or authority of a bishop : a diocesan center


a. : the rank, office, power, or authority of a bishop

the see of Rome

b. : the jurisdiction (as a diocese or province) of a bishop

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.