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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
sight /saɪt/USA pronunciation n.
Physiology the power or ability of seeing;WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
vision[uncountable]suffering from a gradual loss of sight.
the act or fact of seeing; a view or glimpse[countable]a gruesome sight.
one's range of vision[uncountable]Don't let them out of your sight.
something seen or worth seeing; a spectacle[countable]to see all the sights of London.
Informal Terms a person or thing unusual, shocking, or distressing to see[countable; usually singular;
a + ~]He was quite a sight after the brawl.
Slang Terms[Chiefly Dialect.]a great deal[countable; singular;
a + ~]It's a sight better to work than to starve.
Surveying, Optics a viewing device, as on a firearm, for aiding the eye in aiming[countable; often: plural]The assassin had the target lined up in his sights.
- to glimpse, notice, or observe[~ + object]to sight a ship to the north.
- to direct or aim (a firearm or the like) by a sight or sights: [no object]to sight and fire with one quick movement.[~ + object]to sight the gun.
- Idiomsat first sight, [uncountable] after only one brief glimpse:When they met it was love at first sight.
at sight, [uncountable]
- immediately upon seeing:to translate the document at sight.
by a long sight, [uncountable; usually with a negative word or phrase] to a great or extreme degree:You haven't finished this book by a long sight.
Idiomscatch sight of, [~ + object] to get a quick view:They caught sight of him racing away in the crowd.
know by sight, [know + object + by + ~] to know or recognize (a person or thing seen previously):I know him by sight, but I've never spoken to him.
lose sight of, [~ + object] to fail to keep in mind:Let's not lose sight of our main goal, even though we may disagree on how to get there.
Idiomson sight, [uncountable] immediately upon seeing:The police are ordered to shoot him on sight.
out of sight, [uncountable]
- on presentation:a check payable at sight.
- beyond one's range of vision:She drove away and slowly faded out of sight.
- [Informal.]too much; exceedingly high:The price is out of sight.
Idiomssight for sore eyes, [uncountable] someone or something whose appearance is a reason for gladness:The airplane bringing the food was a sight for sore eyes to the drought victims.
Idiomssight unseen, without previous examination:We bought it sight unseen.
- [Slang.](often used as an interjection) fantastic;
marvelous:The party was out of sight.
- Physiologythe power or faculty of seeing;
perception of objects by use of the eyes;
- an act, fact, or instance of seeing.
- one's range of vision on some specific occasion:Land is in sight.
- a view; glimpse.
- mental perception or regard;
- something seen or worth seeing;
spectacle:the sights of London.
- Informal Terms[Informal.]something unusual, surprising, shocking, or distressing:They were a sight after the fight.
- presentation of a bill of exchange:a draft payable at two months after sight.
Slang Terms[Older Use.]a multitude; great deal:It's a sight better to work than to starve.
Surveyingan observation taken with a surveying, navigating, or other instrument to ascertain an exact position or direction.
Surveying, Opticsany of various mechanical or optical viewing devices, as on a firearm or surveying instrument, for aiding the eye in aiming.
- a showing of goods, esp. gems, held periodically for wholesalers.
at first sight, at the first glimpse;
at once:It was love at first sight.
- immediately upon seeing, esp. without referring elsewhere for assurance, further information, etc.:to translate something at sight.
catch sight of, to get a glimpse of; espy:We caught sight of the lake below.
know by sight, to recognize (a person or thing) seen previously:I know him by sight, but I know nothing about him.
Informal Termsnot by a long sight, [Informal.]definitely not:Is that all? Not by a long sight.
on or upon sight, immediately upon seeing:to shoot him on sight; to recognize someone on sight.
out of sight:
- [Com.]on presentation:a draft payable at sight.
- beyond one's range of vision.
- [Informal.]beyond reason;
exceedingly high:The price is out of sight.
sight for sore eyes, someone or something whose appearance on the scene is cause for relief or gladness.
sight unseen, without previous examination:to buy something sight unseen.
- [Slang.](often used interjectionally) fantastic; marvelous:a ceremony so glamorous it was out of sight.
- to see, glimpse, notice, or observe:to sight a ship to the north.
- Surveyingto take a sight or observation of (a stake, coastline, etc.), esp. with surveying or navigating instruments.
- to direct or aim by a sight or sights, as a firearm.
- to provide with sights or adjust the sights of, as a gun.
- to aim or observe through a sight.
- to look carefully in a certain direction.
Middle English (noun, nominal);
Old English sihth (more often gesihth, gesiht;
cognate with German Gesicht face;
compare y-), derivative of sēon to see1;
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
sight /saɪt/ n
- the power or faculty of seeing; perception by the eyes; vision
Related adjective(s): visual
- the act or an instance of seeing
- the range of vision: within sight of land
- range of mental vision; point of view; judgment: in his sight she could do nothing wrong
- a glimpse or view (esp in the phrases catch sight of, lose sight of)
- anything that is seen
- (often plural) anything worth seeing; spectacle: the sights of London
- informal anything unpleasant or undesirable to see: his room was a sight!
- any of various devices or instruments used to assist the eye in making alignments or directional observations, esp such a device used in aiming a gun
- an observation or alignment made with such a device
- a sight ⇒ informal a great deal: she's a sight too good for him
- a sight for sore eyes ⇒ a person or thing that one is pleased or relieved to see
- at sight, on sight ⇒ as soon as seen
- on presentation: a bill payable at sight
- know by sight ⇒ to be familiar with the appearance of without having personal acquaintance
- not by a long sight ⇒ informal on no account; not at all
- set one's sights on ⇒ to have (a specified goal) in mind; aim for
- sight unseen ⇒ without having seen the object at issue: to buy a car sight unseen
Etymology: Old English sihth; related to Old High German siht; see see1ˈsightable adj
- (transitive) to see, view, or glimpse
- (transitive) to furnish with a sight or sights
- to adjust the sight of
- to aim (a firearm) using the sight
'sight' also found in these entries: