verb (sees, seeing, saw /, has seen )
The word see sounds just like sea.
1 to know or notice something using your eyes:
It was so dark that I couldn't see anything.
Can you see that plane?
See, look or watch? When you see something, you know about it with your eyes, without trying: Suddenly, I saw a bird fly past the window. When you watch something, you look at it for some time: They watched the carnival procession. When you look at something, you turn your eyes towards it because you want to see it: She looked at all the pictures in the room.
2 to watch a film, play or television programme:
I'm going to see a film tonight.
3 to find out about something:
Go and see what time the train leaves.
4 to visit or meet somebody:
We're going to see my grandma at the weekend.
I'll see you outside the station at ten o'clock.
5 to understand something:
'You have to turn the key this way.' 'I see.'
6 to make certain about something:
Please see that you lock the door.
I'll see, we'll see I will think about what you have said and tell you what I have decided later:
'Will you lend me the money?' 'I'll see.'
let's see, let me see words that you use when you are thinking or trying to remember something:
Let's see, where did I put the keys?
seeing that, seeing as (informal) because:
Seeing that you've got nothing to do, you can help me!
see somebody off to go to an airport or a station to say goodbye to somebody who is leaving
see to somebody or something to do what you need to do for somebody or something:
Sit down – I'll see to the dinner.
see you, see you later (informal) goodbye:
'Bye Dave!' 'See you!'
I. see1 S1 W1 /siː/ BrE AmE verb (past tense saw /sɔː $ sɒː/, past participle seen /siːn/)
[Language: Old English; Origin: seon]
1. NOTICE/EXAMINE [transitive not in progressive] to notice or examine someone or something, using your eyes:
The moment we saw the house, we knew we wanted to buy it.
He crouched down so he couldn’t be seen.
Can I see your ticket, please?
I saw the offer advertised in the newspaper.
You can see the Houses of Parliament from here.
see where/what/who etc
Can you see where the marks are on the wall?
He saw that she was crying.
see somebody/something do something
I saw him leave a few minutes ago.
see somebody/something doing something
The suspect was seen entering the building.
As you can see, the house needs some work doing on it.
Have you seen Chris (=do you know where he is)?
The accommodation was so awful it had to be seen to be believed (=you would not believe it if you did not see it yourself).
2. NOTICE SOMETHING IS TRUE [transitive not in progressive] to notice that something is happening or that something is true:
More money must be invested if we are to see an improvement in services.
After a month’s practice, you should see a difference in your playing.
Seeing his distress, Louise put her arm around him.
I would like to see changes in the way the course is run.
‘You’re not denying it, I see,’ he said coldly.
I can see you’re not very happy with the situation.
3. ABILITY TO SEE [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] to be able to use your eyes to look at things and know what they are
From the tower, you can see for miles.
I can’t see a thing without my glasses.
not see to do something
His eyes are so bad that he can’t see to read anymore.
4. FIND OUT INFORMATION [intransitive and transitive] to find out information or a fact
see what/how/when etc
I’ll call him and see how the job interview went.
She went outside to see what was happening.
I’ve just come to see if you want to go out for a drink.
These chocolates are gorgeous. Try some and see for yourself (=find out if it is true).
By looking at this leaflet, you can see at a glance (=find out very easily) how much a loan will cost.
it can be seen that/we can see that
From this graph, it can be seen that some people are more susceptible to the disease.
As we have seen in chapter four, women’s pay is generally less than men’s.
5. IN THE FUTURE [intransitive and transitive] to find out about something in the future
It will be interesting to see if he makes it into the team.
see how/what/when etc
I might come – I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
Let’s try it and see what happens.
‘Can we go to the zoo, Dad?’ ‘We’ll see.’ (=used when you do not want to make a decision immediately)
‘How long can you stay?’ ‘I’ll have to see. It depends (=used when you cannot make a decision immediately).’
We’ll just have to wait and see.
see how it goes/see how things go (=used when you are going to do something and will deal with problems if they happen)
I don’t know. We’ll just have to see how it goes on Sunday.
Things will work out, you’ll see (=you will find out that I am right).
6. WHERE INFORMATION IS [transitive only in imperative] especially written used to tell you where you can find information:
See p. 58.
See press for details.
The results are shown in Table 7a (see below).
7. UNDERSTAND [intransitive and transitive] to understand or realize something
see why/what/how etc
I can’t see why he’s so upset.
I see what you mean (=I understand what you are saying).
‘He lives here but works in London during the week.’ ‘Oh, I see (=I understand).’
You see, the thing is, I’m really busy right now (=used when you are explaining something).
You mix the flour and eggs like this, see (=used to check that someone is listening and understands)?
I can’t see the point of (=I do not understand the reason for) spending so much money on a car.
Do you see the point I’m making (=do you understand what I’m trying to say)?
The other officers laughed, but Nichols couldn’t see the joke.
see reason/sense (=realize that you are wrong or doing something stupid)
I just can’t get her to see reason!
8. WATCH [transitive] to watch a television programme, play, film etc:
Did you see that programme on monkeys last night?
We’re going to see ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tonight.
9. CONSIDER SOMEBODY/SOMETHING [transitive] to think about or consider someone or something in a particular way, or as having particular qualities:
Having a child makes you see things differently.
Violence is seen in different ways by different people.
as somebody sees it/the way somebody sees it (=used to give someone’s opinion)
As I see it, you don’t have any choice.
The way I see it, we have two options.
see somebody/something as something
I see the job as a challenge.
see yourself as something
He saw himself as a failure.
be seen as (being) something
The peace talks are seen as a sign of hope.
This type of work is often seen as boring.
be seen to be (doing) something
Teachers need to be seen to be in control.
The government must be seen to be doing something about the rise in violent crime.
10. see what somebody/something can do spoken
a) to find out if someone can deal with a situation or problem
see what somebody/something can do about
I’ll call them again and see what they can do about it.
b) to find out how good someone or something is at what they are supposed to be able to do:
Let’s take the Porsche out to the racetrack and see what it can do!
11. I’ll see what I can do spoken used to say that you will try to help someone:
Leave the papers with me and I’ll see what I can do.
12. see you spoken used to say goodbye when you know you will see someone again
see you tomorrow/at three/Sunday etc
See you Friday – your place at 8:30.
see you later (=see you soon, or later in the same day)
see you in a bit British English (=see you soon)
see you in a while (=see you soon)
(I’ll) be seeing you! (=see you soon)
13. VISIT [transitive] to visit or meet someone:
I’ll be seeing her tomorrow night.
I haven’t seen her since we left school.
She’s too sick to see anyone right now.
14. MEET BY CHANCE [transitive not in progressive] to meet someone by chance:
I saw Jane while I was out.
15. HAVE A MEETING [transitive] to have an arranged meeting with someone:
Mr Thomas is seeing a client at 2:30.
She was seen by a doctor but didn’t need hospital treatment.
see somebody about something (=see someone to discuss something)
I have to see my teacher about my grades.
16. SPEND TIME WITH SOMEBODY [transitive] to spend time with someone:
They’ve been seeing a lot of each other.
see more/less of somebody (=see someone more or less often)
They’ve seen more of each other since Dan moved to London.
17. be seeing somebody to be having a romantic relationship with someone:
Is she seeing anyone at the moment?
18. IMAGINE [transitive not in progressive] to imagine that something may happen in the future:
He could see a great future for her in music.
can’t see somebody/something doing something
I can’t see him winning, can you?
She’s got a new book coming out, but I can’t see it doing very well.
see somebody as something (=be able to imagine someone being something)
I just can’t see her as a ballet dancer.
19. seeing as (how) informal (also seeing that) used before giving a reason for what you are saying:
‘I might as well do something useful, seeing as I’m back,’ she said.
20. see something for what it is (also see somebody for what they are) to realize that someone or something is not as good or nice as they seem:
They are unimpressed with the scheme and rightly see it for what it is.
21. MAKE SURE [transitive not in progressive] to make sure or check that something is done
It’s up to you to see that the job’s done properly.
Please see that the lights are switched off before you leave.
Don’t worry – I’ll see to it.
The hotel’s owners see to it that their guests are given every luxury.
22. EXPERIENCE SOMETHING [transitive not in progressive] to experience something:
She was so sick that doctors didn’t think she’d live to see her first birthday.
I never thought I’d live to see the day when women became priests.
She’s seen it all before (=has experienced so much that nothing surprises her) in her long career. ⇨ been there, seen that, done that at ↑been(3)
23. TIME/PLACE [transitive] if a time or place has seen a particular event or situation, it happened or existed in that time or place:
This year has seen a big increase in road accidents.
The city has seen plenty of violence over the years.
24. let me see (also let’s see) spoken used when you are trying to remember something:
Let me see ... where did I put that letter?
25. I don’t see why not spoken used to say ‘yes’ in answer to a request:
‘Can we go to the park?’ ‘I don’t see why not.’
26. GO WITH SOMEBODY [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to go somewhere with someone to make sure they are safe:
My mother used to see me across the road.
I’ll get Nick to see you home.
Let me see you to the door (=go with you to the door, to say goodbye).
27. be seeing things to imagine that you see someone or something which is not really there:
There’s no one there – you must be seeing things.
28. see double if you see double, something is wrong with your eyes, so that you see two things when there is only one
29. have seen better days informal to be in a bad condition:
Her hat had seen better days.
30. be glad/pleased etc to see the back of somebody/something British English spoken to be pleased when someone leaves or when you get rid of something, because you do not like them:
I’ll be glad to see the back of him.
31. see the last of somebody/something
a) to not see someone or something again, especially someone or something you do not like:
I thought we’d seen the last of him.
It was a relief to see the last of them.
b) to not have to deal with something any more:
Police hoped they’d seen the last of the joyriding.
We may not have seen the last of this controversy.
32. see the light
a) to realize that something is true:
She finally saw the light and ended the relationship.
b) to have a special experience that makes you believe in a religion
33. see the light of day
a) if something sees the light of day, it is brought out so that people can see it:
This decision will ensure that the Pentagon Papers never see the light of day.
b) to start to exist:
This type of PC first saw the light of day in 1981.
34. see red to become very angry:
The thought of Pierre with Nicole had made her see red.
35. not see somebody for dust British English informal if you do not see someone for dust, they leave a place very quickly in order to avoid something
36. see eye to eye [usually in negatives] if two people see eye to eye, they agree with each other:
We didn’t exactly see eye to eye.
see eye to eye with
I don’t always see eye to eye with my father.
see eye to eye on/about
We don’t see eye to eye on business issues.
37. seen one ... seen them all informal used to say that something is boring because it is very similar to other things:
When you’ve seen one of these programmes, you’ve seen them all.
38. see your way (clear) to doing something formal to be able and willing to do something:
Small companies cannot see their way to taking on many trainees.
39. (see and) be seen to look at or be noticed by important or fashionable people:
Royal Ascot is the place to see and be seen.
40. not see the wood for the trees (also not see the forest for the trees American English) to be unable to understand what is important in a situation because you are thinking too much about small details rather than the whole situation
41. see something coming to realize that there is going to be a problem before it actually happens:
John’s going to have a lot of trouble with him. You can see it coming.
42. see somebody coming (a mile off) British English spoken to recognize that someone will be easy to trick or deceive:
You paid £500 for that! They must have seen you coming!
43. see somebody right British English spoken to make sure that someone gets what they need or want, especially money:
Just do this for me and I’ll see you right.
Tell the landlord I sent you and he’ll see you right.
44. not see that it matters spoken to think that something is not important:
I can’t see that it matters what I think.
45. GAME OF CARDS [transitive] to risk the same amount of money as your opponent in a ↑card game ⇨ it remains to be seen at ↑remain(5), ⇨ see fit (to do something) at ↑fit2(3), ⇨ wouldn’t be seen dead at ↑dead1(12)
• • •
▪ 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.
■ Unable to see
▪ blind unable to see anything: She has been blind from birth.
▪ partially-sighted not able to see things very well, although not completely blind: Good lighting can be very important for partially sighted people.
▪ visually handicapped/impaired completely blind or not able to see very much – used especially in official reports, forms etc: a special school for visually impaired children
see about something phrasal verb
1. to make arrangements or deal with something:
I’d better see about dinner.
see about doing something
Claire’s gone to see about getting tickets for the concert.
2. we’ll see about that spoken
a) (also we’ll have to see about that) used to say that you do not know if something will be possible:
‘I want to go to Joshua’s tonight.’ ‘Well, we’ll have to see about that.’
b) (also we’ll soon see about that) used to say that you intend to stop someone from doing what they were planning to do
see something against something phrasal verb [usually passive]
to consider something together with something else:
The unemployment data must be seen against the background of world recession.
see around phrasal verb
1. see somebody around to notice someone regularly in places you go to, but not talk to them:
I don’t know who he is, but I’ve seen him around.
2. see you around spoken used to say goodbye to someone when you have not made a definite arrangement to meet again
3. see around/round something British English to visit a place and walk around looking at it:
Would you like to see round the house?
see in phrasal verb
1. not know what somebody sees in somebody (also what does somebody see in somebody?) used to say that you do not know why someone likes someone else:
I don’t know what she sees in him.
2. see something in somebody/something to notice a particular quality in someone or something that makes you like them:
He saw a gentleness in Susan.
3. see somebody in to go with someone to make sure they arrive at a building or room:
He took her home and, after seeing her in, drove off without a word.
4. see in the New Year to celebrate the beginning of a new year
see somebody/something ↔ off phrasal verb
1. to defeat someone or stop them from competing against you:
To see off the threat, the company will have to cut its prices still further.
The team saw off their old rivals in last night’s championship game.
2. to go to an airport, train station etc to say goodbye to someone:
They’ve gone to the airport to see their son off.
3. (also see somebody off something) to force someone to leave a place:
Security guards saw him off the premises.
see somebody/something out phrasal verb
1. to go to the door with someone to say goodbye to them when they leave:
I’ll see you out.
Don’t worry, I can see myself out (=leave the building without anyone coming with me).
2. see something ↔ out to continue doing something or being somewhere until a particular period of time or an unpleasant event is finished:
Connolly has promised to see out the remaining 18 months of his contract.
She saw out her last years at Sudeley Castle.
see over something phrasal verb British English
to look at something large such as a house, especially in order to decide if you want to buy it
see through phrasal verb
1. see through somebody/something to realize that someone is trying to deceive you:
I saw through his excuses.
I could never lie to her because I know she’d see through me straight away.
I can’t bluff – she’d see right through me.
2. see something through to continue doing something until it is finished, especially something difficult or unpleasant:
It’ll take a lot of effort to see the project through.
3. see somebody through (something) to give help and support to someone during a difficult time:
Setting goals should help see you through.
I’ve got enough money to see me through six months of unemployment.
4. see something through sb’s eyes to see something or think about it in the way that someone else does:
The world is very different when seen through the eyes of a child.
see to somebody/something phrasal verb
to deal with something or do something for someone:
Go on, you go out. I’ll see to the washing-up.
have/get something seen to
You should get that tooth seen to by a dentist.
see [see sees saw seeing seen] verb, noun [siː] [siː]
verb (saw [sɔː] ; [sɔː] seen [siːn] ; [siːn] )
1. transitive, intransitive (not used in the progressive tenses) to become aware of sb/sth by using your eyes
• ~ (sb/sth) She looked for him but couldn't see him in the crowd.
• I looked out of the window but saw nothing.
• The opera was the place to see and be seen (= by other important or fashionable people).
• ~ (that)… He could see (that) she had been crying.
• ~ what, how, etc… Did you see what happened?
• If you watch carefully, you'll see how it is done.
• ~ sb/sth + adj. I hate to see you unhappy.
• ~ sb/sth doing sth She was seen running away from the scene of the crime.
• ~ sb/sth do sth I saw you put the key in your pocket.
• sb/sth is seen to do sth He was seen to enter the building about the time the crime was committed.
2. intransitive (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to have or use the power of sight
• She will never see again (= she has become blind).
• On a clear day you can see for miles from here.
• ~ to do sth It was getting dark and I couldn't see to read.
3. transitive (not usually used in the progressive tenses) ~ sth to watch a game, television programme, performance, etc
• Did you see that programme on Brazil last night?
• In the evening we went to see a movie.
• Fifty thousand people saw the match.
LOOK UP INFORMATION
4. transitive (used in orders) ~ sth to look at sth in order to find information
• See page 158.
MEET BY CHANCE
5. transitive ~ sb (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to be near and recognize sb; to meet sb by chance
• Guess who I saw at the party last night!
6. transitive ~ sb to visit sb
• Come and see us again soon.
7. transitive ~ sb (about sth) to have a meeting with sb
• You ought to see a doctor about that cough.
• What is it you want to see me about?
• I can only see you for five minutes.
8. transitive (often used in the progressive tenses) ~ sb to spend time with sb
• Are you seeing anyone (= having a romantic relationship with anyone)?
• They've been seeing a lot of each other (= spending a lot of time together) recently.
9. intransitive, transitive (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to understand sth
• ‘It opens like this.’ ‘Oh, I see.’
• ~ sth He didn't see the joke.
• I don't think she saw the point of the story.
• I can see both sides of the argument.
• Make Lydia see reason (= be sensible), will you?
• ~ (that)… Can't you see (that) he's taking advantage of you?
• I don't see that it matters what Josh thinks.
• ~ what, why, etc… ‘It's broken.’ ‘Oh yes, I see what you mean.’
• ‘Can we go swimming?’ ‘ I don't see why not (= yes, you can).’
• be seen to do sth The government not only has to do something, it must be seen to be doing something (= people must be aware that it is doing sth).
10. transitive ~ sth + adv./prep. (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to have an opinion of sth
• I see things differently now.
• Try to see things from her point of view.
• Lack of money is the main problem, as I see it (= in my opinion).
• The way I see it, you have three main problems.
11. transitive (not used in the progressive tenses) to consider sth as a future possibility; to imagine sb/sth as sth
• ~ sb/sth doing sth I can't see her changing her mind.
• ~ sb/sth as sth His colleagues see him as a future director.
12. intransitive, transitive (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to find out sth by looking, asking or waiting
• ‘Has the mail come yet?’ ‘I'll just go and see.’
• ‘Is he going to get better?’ ‘I don't know, we'll just have to wait and see.’
• We'll have a great time, you'll see.
• ~ what, how, etc… Go and see what the kids are doing, will you?
• We'll have to see how it goes.
• ~ (that)… I see (that) interest rates are going up again.
• it is seen that… It can be seen that certain groups are more at risk than others.
13. intransitive, transitive (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to find out or decide sth by thinking or considering
• ‘Will you be able to help us?’ ‘I don't know, I'll have to see.’
• ‘Can I go to the party?’ ‘ We'll see (= I'll decide later).
• ~ what, whether, etc… I'll see what I can do to help.
14. transitive (not usually used in the progressive tenses) ~ that… to make sure that you do sth or that sth is done
• See that all the doors are locked before you leave.
• Could you see that the kids are in bed by 8 o'clock?
15. transitive (not used in the progressive tenses) ~ sth to experience or suffer sth
• He has seen a great deal in his long life.
• I hope I never live to see the day when computers finally replace books.
• It didn't surprise her— she had seen it all before.
16. transitive (not used in the progressive tenses) ~ sth to be the time when an event happens
• Next year sees the centenary of Mahler's death.
17. transitive (not used in the progressive tenses) ~ sth to be the place where an event happens
• This stadium has seen many thrilling football games.
18. transitive ~ sb + adv./prep. to go with sb to help or protect them
• I saw the old lady across (= helped her cross) the road.
• May I see you home (= go with you as far as your house)?
• My secretary will see you out (= show you the way out of the building).
Rem: Most idioms containing see are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example not see the wood for the trees is at wood.
v. and Old English sēon Germanic Dutch zien German sehen Indo-European Latin sequi ‘follow’
n. Middle English Anglo-Norman French sed Latin sedes ‘seat’ sedere ‘sit’
1. T (not used in the progressive tenses)
• Did you see what happened?
notice • • spot • • catch • • take sth in • • note • • detect • • witness • |formal observe • • perceive • |written glimpse • • sight •
see/notice/witness/observe sth happen/sb do sth
suddenly see/notice/spot/catch/detect/perceive/glimpse sb/sth
2. T (not used in the progressive tenses)
• We went to see a movie.
watch • |formal view • |especially AmE, informal catch •
see/watch/view/catch a film/movie/show/programme
see/watch/catch a match/game/fight
• You should see a doctor.
visit • • go to sth • • consult •
see/visit/consult a/the doctor/dentist
come/go and/to see/visit sb
4. T (used especially in the progressive tenses)
• Are you seeing anyone at the moment?
go out • |especially AmE date • |especially spoken be together • |old-fashioned court • • woo •
See, go out with sb or date? These expressions are all commonly used in the progressive tenses with time expressions such as how long, for three months, etc. This suggests a temporary relationship that may or may not become permanent.
5. I, T (not used in the progressive tenses) (especially spoken)
• Oh yes, I see what you mean.
understand • • grasp • • follow • |informal, especially spoken get • • catch on • |formal comprehend •
see/follow/understand/grasp/get/catch on to/comprehend what/why/how…
can/can't see/follow/understand/grasp/comprehend sth
be easy/difficult/hard to see/follow/understand/grasp/comprehend
6. T (not used in the progressive tenses)
• Try to see it from her point of view.
look at sth • • consider • • view • |formal regard •
see/look at/consider/view/regard sb/sth as sth
see/look at/consider/view/regard sb/sth from a particular point of view
see/look at/view/regard sb/sth with sth
7. T (not used in the progressive tenses)
• I can't see her changing her mind.
imagine • • picture • • visualize • • envision • |especially BrE envisage • |formal conceptualize •
see/imagine/picture/visualize/envision/envisage/conceptualize sb/sth as sth
see/imagine/picture/visualize/envision/envisage (sb) doing sth
think • see • envisage • envision
These words all mean to form an idea in your mind of what sb/sth might be like.
imagine • to form an idea in your mind of what sb/sth might be like: ▪ The house was just as she had imagined it.
think • to imagine sth that might happen or might have happened: ▪ We couldn't think where you'd gone. ◊ ▪ Just think ▪ — this time tomorrow we'll be lying on a beach.
see • to consider sth as a future possibility; to imagine sb as sth: ▪ I can't see her changing her mind. ◊ ▪ His colleagues see him as a future director.
envisage • (especially BrE) to imagine what will happen in the future: ▪ I don't envisage working with him again.
The usual word for this in American English is envision (see below).
envision • to imagine what a situation will be like in the future, especially a situation that you intend to work towards: ▪ They envision an equal society, free from poverty and disease.
Envision is used especially in business and political contexts. In North American English it is also used as another form of the word envisage: ▪ I don't envision working with him again.
to imagine/see/envisage/envision sb/sth as sth
to imagine/see/envisage/envision (sb) doing sth
to imagine/think/see/envisage/envision who/what/how…
to imagine/think/envisage/envision that…
watch • see • view • observe
These words all mean to turn your eyes in a particular direction.
look • to turn your eyes in a particular direction: ▪ If you look carefully you can just see our house from here. ◊ ▪ She ▪ looked at ▪ me and smiled.
watch • to look at sb/sth for a time, paying attention to what happens: ▪ to watch television ◊ ▪ Watch what I do, then you try.
see • to watch a game, television programme, performance, etc: ▪ In the evening we went to see a movie.
view • (formal) to look at sth, especially when you look carefully; to watch television, a film/movie, etc: ▪ People came from all over the world to view her work.
watch, see or view?
You can see/view a film/movie/programme but you cannot: see/view television. View is more formal than see and is used especially in business contexts.
observe • (formal) to watch sb/sth carefully, especially to learn more about them or it: ▪ The patients were observed over a period of several months.
to look/watch for sb/sth
to watch/observe what/who/how…
to look/watch/view/observe (sb/sth) with amazement/surprise/disapproval, etc.
to watch/see/view a film/movie/show/programme
to watch/see a match/game/fight
to look (at sb/sth)/watch (sb/sth)/observe sb/sth carefully/closely
call • find • consider • see • view
These words all mean to think about sb/sth in a particular way.
regard • to think of sb/sth in a particular way: ▪ He seemed to regard the whole thing as a joke.
call • to say that sb/sth has particular qualities or characteristics: ▪ I wouldn't call German an easy language.
find • to have a particular feeling or opinion about sth: ▪ You may find your illness hard to accept.
consider • to think of sb/sth in a particular way: ▪ Who do you consider (to be) responsible for the accident?
regard or consider?
These two words have the same meaning, but they are used in different patterns and structures. In this meaning consider must be used with a complement or clause: you can consider sb/sth to be sth or consider sb/sth as sth, although very often the to be or as is left out: ▪ He considers himself an expert. ◊ ▪ They are considered a high-risk group. You can also consider that sb/sth is sth and again, the that can be left out. Regard is used in a narrower range of structures. The most frequent structure is regard sb/sth as sth; the as cannot be left out: I regard him a close friend. You cannot regard sb/sth to be sth or regard that sb/sth is sth. However, regard (but not consider in this meaning) can also be used without a noun or adjective complement but with just an object and adverb (sb/sth is highly regarded) or adverbial phrase (regard sb/sth with suspicion/jealousy/admiration).
see • to have an opinion of sth: ▪ Try to see things from her point of view.
view • to think of sb/sth in a particular way: ▪ How do you view your position within the company?
View has the same meaning as regard and consider but is slightly less frequent and slightly less formal. The main structures are view sb/sth as sb/sth (you cannot leave out the as) and view sb/sth with sth.
to regard/consider/see/view sb/sth as sth
to regard/consider/see/view sb/sth from a particular point of view
to find/consider sb/sth to be sth
generally/usually regarded/considered/seen/viewed as sth
to regard/consider/view sb/sth favourably/unfavourably
spot • catch • glimpse
These words all mean to become aware of sb/sth by using your eyes, especially suddenly or when it is not easy to see them/it.
see • to become aware of sb/sth by using your eyes: ▪ She looked for him but couldn't see him in the crowd. ◊ ▪ He could see (that) she had been crying.
spot • to see or notice sb/sth, especially suddenly or when they are not easy to see or notice: ▪ I've just spotted a mistake on the front cover.
catch • to see or notice sth for a moment, but not clearly or completely: ▪ She ▪ caught sight ▪ of a car in the distance. ◊ ▪ He ▪ caught a glimpse ▪ of himself in the mirror.
glimpse • (literary) to see sb/sth for a moment, but not clearly or completely: ▪ He'd glimpsed her through the window as he passed.
to see/spot that/how/what/where/who…
to suddenly see/spot/catch/glimpse sb/sth
see • get • follow • grasp • comprehend
These words all mean to know or realize sth, for example why sth happens, how sth works or what sth means.
understand • to know or realize the meaning of words, a language, what sb says, etc; to know or realize how or why sth happens, how it works or why it is important: ▪ I don't understand the instructions. ◊ ▪ Doctors still don't understand much about the disease.
see • to understand what is happening, what sb is saying, how sth works or how important sth is: ▪ ‘It opens like this.’ ‘Oh, ▪ I see ▪.’ ◊ ▪ Oh yes, ▪ I see what you mean ▪.
get • (informal) to understand a joke, what sb is trying to tell you, or a situation that they are trying to describe: ▪ She didn't get the joke. ◊ ▪ I don't get you.
follow • to understand an explanation, a story or the meaning of sth: ▪ Sorry— I don't quite follow. ◊ ▪ The plot is almost impossible to follow.
grasp • to come to understand a fact, an idea or how to do sth: ▪ They failed to grasp the importance of his words.
understand or grasp?
You can use understand or grasp for the action of realizing the meaning or importance of sth for the first time: ▪ It's a difficult concept for children to understand/grasp. Only understand can be used to talk about languages, words or writing: I don't grasp French/the instructions.
comprehend • (often used in negative statements) (formal) to understand a fact, idea or reason: ▪ The concept of infinity is almost impossible for the human mind to comprehend.
to understand/see/get/follow/grasp/comprehend what/why/how…
to understand/see/grasp/comprehend that…
to understand/see/get/grasp the point/idea (of sth)
to be easy/difficult/hard to understand/see/follow/grasp/comprehend
to fully understand/see/grasp/comprehend sth
• ‘Has the post come yet?’ ‘I'll just go and see.’
• ‘Is he going to get better?’ ‘I don't know, we'll just have to wait and see.’
• A dolphin? Oh, let me see!
• Aren't you pleased to see me?
• Can't you see the joke?
• Don't worry, I'll see you home.
• Economists expect to see the trend continue.
• He came over to see me after my surgery.
• He came over to see what was going on.
• He didn't live to see his grandchildren.
• He saw first-hand the impact of colonialism.
• He turned and saw her smile.
• He was surprised to see Lucy standing there.
• I can see why you were so angry about it.
• I can't see the point of doing that.
• I can't wait to see his face!
• I could hardly see because of the smoke.
• I could see the boat clearly now.
• I don't see why she should get more money than the others.
• I fail to see how this idea will help anyone.
• I finally got to see them in concert.
• I know it's hard to believe but I saw it with my own eyes.
• I looked up, only to see Tommy chatting to someone.
• I never thought I'd live to see this day!
• I want to see how they'll react.
• I went to see a movie.
• I'd love to see her win the gold medal.
• I'm glad to see that you're keeping well.
• I'm here to see Lisa Daniels.
• It is difficult to see how to get around this problem.
• It's nice to see the children playing together.
• Let me see the evidence!
• Let's see what happens.
• Logan came around to see me about a job.
• She claims that she can see into the future.
• She turned to see who it was.
• She went to see the doctor about it.
• She's gone to see the mechanic about getting her car repaired.
• The star is bright enough to see with the naked eye.
• This problem is commonly seen in young adults.
• Veronica came to see him in prison.
• We could just see the hotel in the distance.
• We expect to see an increase of 50–60%.
• We'll have to wait to see if sales hold up.
• You can see at a glance if all is well.
• ‘It opens like this.’ ‘Oh, I see.’
• Can't you see that he's taking advantage of you?
• Come and see us again soon!
• Did you see that documentary about Brazil last night?
• Fifty thousand people saw the game.
• He doesn't see how important this is.
• He said he'd been to see his sister.
• I can't see her changing her mind.
• I don't quite see what he's getting at.
• I don't see that it matters what he thinks.
• I don't think she saw the point of the story.
• I've come to see Ben.
• If you watch carefully, you'll see how it is done.
• Lack of money is the main problem, as I see it.
• Oh yes, I see what you mean.
• She looked for him but couldn't see him in the crowd.
• The opera was the place to see and be seen.
• The way I see it, you have three main problems.
• When was the last time you saw a dentist?
• You see, she only heard about the plan yesterday.
• You should go and see a doctor.
Idioms: for all to see ▪ let me see see ▪ see for yourself ▪ see somebody for what they it is ▪ see something coming ▪ see you ▪ see you later ▪ seeing that … ▪ seeing you ▪ you see
Derived: see about something ▪ see over something ▪ see somebody off ▪ see somebody out ▪ see somebody through ▪ see somebody through something ▪ see something in somebody ▪ see something out ▪ see something through ▪ see through somebody ▪ see to it that … ▪ see to something
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
avert / əˈvɜːt / / -ˈvɝːt / verb [ T ] (TURN)
to turn away your eyes or thoughts:
I averted my gaze/eyes while he dressed.
We tried to avert our thoughts from our massive financial problems.
see / siː / verb [ T ] ( present participle seeing , past tense saw , past participle seen ) (UNDERSTAND)
B1 to understand, know, or realize:
[ + (that) ] I see (that) the social club is organizing a theatre trip next month.
[ + question word ] He can't see wh at difference it makes to come (= he doesn't think it is important if he comes) on Thursday instead of Friday.
They didn't see the need/any need (= understand that it was important) to notify their members of the changes in writing.
They only refused to help because they're too busy, but he seems to see more in it than that.
"I'm tired." " So I see - you've been yawning all afternoon."
The chairwoman thought the new scheme was a great improvement, but I couldn't see it myself (= couldn't understand why it was thought to be good, or didn't agree) .
I was surprised that they couldn't see my point of view.
The government didn't want to be seen to be making concessions to terrorists.
After she read his book she started to see the issue in another/a different/a new light (= differently) .
see / siː / verb ( present participle seeing , past tense saw , past participle seen ) (MEET)
A1 [ I or T ] to meet or visit someone, or to visit a place:
We're seeing friends at the weekend.
I haven't seen Jerry around (= in the places I usually meet him) in the last few weeks.
No one has seen much of Daryl since he got married.
They see a lot of each other (= are often together) at weekends.
My mother is seeing the doctor again next week.
The children wanted to see the circus.
The agent said they could see the house ( UK also see round the house) at 3 p.m.
[ T ] to have a romantic relationship with someone:
How long has she been seeing him?
see / siː / verb [ T ] ( present participle seeing , past tense saw , past participle seen ) (CONSIDER)
B2 to consider or think about, especially to think about someone or something in a particular way, or to imagine someone doing a particular activity:
She didn't see herself as brave.
It was easy to see the gift as a sort of bribe.
[ + obj + -ing verb ] I can't see her accept ing (= I don't think she will accept) the job in the present circumstances.
As I see it/things/the situation , we'll have to get extra help.
Try and see it my way - I'll be left without any help if you go to Edinburgh tomorrow.
see / siː / verb [ T usually + adv/prep ] ( present participle seeing , past tense saw , past participle seen ) (GO WITH)
to take someone somewhere by going there with them:
He saw his visitors to the door .
Her friends saw her home .
The security guard saw the protesters off the premises.
see / siː / verb [ I + question word ] ( present participle seeing , past tense saw , past participle seen ) (TRY TO DISCOVER)
B2 to try to discover:
Will you see if you can get anyone to help?
I'll see wh at I can do.
see / siː / verb [ + (that) ] ( present participle seeing , past tense saw , past participle seen ) (MAKE CERTAIN)
C2 to make certain that something happens:
See (that) you're ready by five, or there'll be trouble.
The receptionist said he'd see (that) she got the message.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
sees, seeing, saw, seen
1) VERB: no cont When you see something, you notice it using your eyes.
[V n] You can't see colours at night...
[V n -ing] I saw a man making his way towards me...
She can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste...
[V that] As he neared the farm, he saw that a police car was parked outside it...
[V wh] Did you see what happened?
2) VERB If you see someone, you visit them or meet them.
[V n] I saw him yesterday...
[V n] Mick wants to see you in his office right away...
[V n] You need to see a doctor.
3) VERB: no cont If you see an entertainment such as a play, film, concert, or sports game, you watch it.
[V n] He had been to see a Semi-Final of the FA Cup...
[V n] It was one of the most amazing films I've ever seen.
4) VERB: no cont If you see that something is true or exists, you realize by observing it that it is true or exists.
[V that] I could see she was lonely.
[V wh] ...a lot of people saw what was happening but did nothing about it...
[V n -ing] You see young people going to school inadequately dressed for the weather...
My taste has changed a bit over the years as you can see...
You've just been cleaning it, I see...
[be V-ed to-inf] The army must be seen to be taking firm action.
5) VERB: no cont, no passive If you see what someone means or see why something happened, you understand what they mean or understand why it happened.
[V wh] Oh, I see what you're saying...
[V wh] I don't see why you're complaining...
[V n] I really don't see any reason for changing it...
[V that] Now I see that I was wrong.
6) VERB If you see someone or something as a certain thing, you have the opinion that they are that thing.
[V n as n/-ing] She saw him as a visionary, but her father saw him as a man who couldn't make a living...
[V n as n/-ing] They have a normal body weight but see themselves as being fat...
[V it as n] Others saw it as a betrayal...
[V it as n to-inf] I don't see it as my duty to take sides...
[V it] As I see it, Llewelyn has three choices open to him...
[be V-ed to-inf] Women are sometimes seen to be less effective as managers.
7) VERB: no cont, no passive If you see a particular quality in someone, you believe they have that quality. If you ask what someone sees in a particular person or thing, you want to know what they find attractive about that person or thing.
[V n in n] Frankly, I don't know what Paul sees in her...
[V in n n] Young and old saw in him an implacable opponent of apartheid.
8) VERB: no cont If you see something happening in the future, you imagine it, or predict that it will happen.
[V n -ing] A good idea, but can you see Taylor trying it?...
[V n] We can see a day where all people live side by side.
9) VERB: no passive If a period of time or a person sees a particular change or event, it takes place during that period of time or while that person is alive.
[V n] Yesterday saw the resignation of the acting Interior Minister...
[V n inf] He had worked with the General for three years and was sorry to see him go...
[V n -ed] Mr Frank has seen the economy of his town slashed by the uprising.
10) VERB You can use see in expressions to do with finding out information. For example, if you say `I'll see what's happening', you mean that you intend to find out what is happening.
[V wh] Let me just see what the next song is...
[V wh] Every time we asked our mother, she said, `Well, see what your father says.'...
[V wh] Shake him gently to see if he responds.
11) VERB You can use see to promise to try and help someone. For example, if you say `I'll see if I can do it', you mean that you will try to do the thing concerned.
[V if] I'll see if I can call her for you...
[V what] We'll see what we can do, miss.
12) VERB If you see that something is done or if you see to it that it is done, you make sure that it is done.
[V that] See that you take care of him...
[V to it that] Catherine saw to it that the information went directly to Walter.
13) VERB If you see someone to a particular place, you accompany them to make sure that they get there safely, or to show politeness.
[V n prep/adv] He didn't offer to see her to her car...
[V n prep/adv] `Goodnight.' - `I'll see you out.'
14) VERB If you see a lot of someone, you often meet each other or visit each other.
[V amount of n] We used to see quite a lot of his wife, Carolyn...
[V amount of n] We didn't see much of each other after that because he was touring.
15) VERB If you are seeing someone, you spend time with them socially, and are having a romantic or sexual relationship.
[V n] My husband was still seeing her and he was having an affair with her.
16) VERB Some writers use see in expressions such as we saw and as we have seen to refer to something that has already been explained or described.
[V wh] We saw in Chapter 16 how annual cash budgets are produced...
[V that] Using the figures given above, it can be seen that machine A pays back the initial investment in two years...
[V that] As we have seen in previous chapters, visualization methods are varied.
17) VERB: only imper See is used in books to indicate to readers that they should look at another part of the book, or at another book, because more information is given there.
[V n] Surveys consistently find that men report feeling safe on the street after dark. See, for example, Hindelang and Garofalo (1978)...
[V n] See Chapter 7 below for further comments on the textile industry.
18) PHRASE: CONJ SUBORD You can use seeing that or seeing as to introduce a reason for what you are saying. [mainly BRIT, INFORMAL, SPOKEN]
He is in the marriage bureau business, which is mildly ironic seeing that his dearest wish is to get married himself...
Seeing as Mr Moreton is a doctor, I would assume he has a modicum of intelligence.
19) CONVENTION (formulae) You can say `I see' to indicate that you understand what someone is telling you. [SPOKEN]
`He came home in my car.' - `I see.'
20) CONVENTION People say `I'll see' or `We'll see' to indicate that they do not intend to make a decision immediately, and will decide later.
We'll see. It's a possibility.
21) CONVENTION People say `let me see' or `let's see' when they are trying to remember something, or are trying to find something.
Let's see, they're six - no, make that five hours ahead of us...
Now let me see, who's the man we want?
22) PHRASE: V inflects If you try to make someone see sense or see reason, you try to make them realize that they are wrong or are being stupid.
He was hopeful that by sitting together they could both see sense and live as good neighbours...
He tried again to get her to see reason.
23) CONVENTION You can say `you see' when you are explaining something to someone, to encourage them to listen and understand. [SPOKEN]
Well, you see, you shouldn't really feel that way about it...
She was a prime target for blackmail, don't you see?
24) CONVENTION (formulae) `See you', `be seeing you', and `see you later' are ways of saying goodbye to someone when you expect to meet them again soon. [INFORMAL, SPOKEN]
`Talk to you later.' - `All right. See you love.'...
`No time for chattering now.' - `Be seeing you, then.'
25) CONVENTION You can say `You'll see' to someone if they do not agree with you about what you think will happen in the future, and you believe that you will be proved right.
The thrill wears off after a few years of marriage. You'll see.
26) to see the back of someone → see back
to have seen better days → see day
to see the light of day → see day
to be seen dead → see dead
as far as the eye can see → see eye
to see eye to eye → see eye
as far as I can see → see far
to see fit → see fit
to see the light → see light
to see red → see red
it remains to be seen → see remain
wait and see → see wait
- see about
- see off
- see through
- see to
1see /ˈsiː/ verb sees; saw /ˈsɑː/; seen /ˈsiːn/; see·ing /ˈsiːjɪŋ/
1 a : to notice or become aware of (someone or something) by using your eyes
• It was so dark that I couldn't see anything.
• I can't see a thing without my glasses.
• Would you turn on the light? I can hardly see a thing.
• Let me see what you're holding in your hand.
• I saw your sister at the party, but I didn't talk to her.
• I saw her take the money.
• Nobody saw the accident happen.
• He was last seen leaving his house yesterday morning.
• This is the prettiest garden I've ever seen! = I've never seen such a pretty garden (before)!
• You have to see it to believe it.
• “He says he's coming.” “I'll believe it when I see it.”
• It's nice to see you (looking) so happy!
• I can see how happy you are.
• I could see (that) she was tired.
• I see (that) you bought a new car. = You bought a new car, I see.
• This club is the place to be seen (at) these days. [=this club is the place where people go to be noticed by important or fashionable people]
• “Have you met the new guy yet?” “No, but I've seen him around.” [=I have noticed him in some of the places I often go to]
• A mall's a mall. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. [=all shopping malls look the same]
• It was so dark that I couldn't see.
• He can no longer see to read without his glasses.
• I couldn't see through/out the foggy window.
• I can't see over the person in front of me.
• On a clear day, you can see for miles from the top of the mountain.
• “He broke his leg.” “So I see.” [=I can see that his leg is broken]
• If you don't believe me, go and see for yourself.
b [no obj] : to have the ability to see : to have the power of sight
• She doesn't/can't see very well.
• She cannot see. [=she is blind]
2 : to be or become aware of (something)
• He saw the opportunity and took it.
• He only sees [=notices] my faults.
• I saw a big difference in her behavior.
• It was easy to see that she was lying.
• Can't you see that he needs help?
• Anyone can see that they're in love.
• I can see there has been a mistake.
• I see that the school has raised its tuition again.
• He claims that he can see the future. [=that he knows what will happen in the future]
• I see by/from the newspaper that they've won the election.
• Looking at the sales figures, we can see a steady rise in profits.
• Investors never saw this turn in the stock market coming.
• The book's ending is so predictable that you can see it coming a mile away/off.
• He claims that he can see into the future.
• As you can see, the sales figures show a steady rise in profits.
3 : to learn or find out (something) especially by looking or waiting
• Please see who's at the door.
• It will be interesting to see if the team can pull off a win.
• I'm not sure if I'm going to the party. I have to see how I feel tomorrow.
• You should try on the dress to see if it fits.
• Can you check to see if the car needs oil?
• She brought the car to a mechanic to see what was wrong with it.
• I'll see what I can do to help.
• We'll have to see how it goes.
• We saw, in the previous lecture, how Newton came up with his theory.
• He called to see if we would be home tonight.
• I have to wait and see whether or not I got the job.
• It remains to be seen [=it is uncertain] whether or not she was lying.
• “Can you fix the car?” “I will have to see.”
• “Can I go to the party?” “We'll see.” [=maybe, perhaps]
• Things will get better, you'll see.
4 [+ obj]
a not used in progressive tenses : to read (something written or printed)
• Have you seen today's newspaper?
• I saw in the newspaper that the team lost.
• I need to see your license.
• He posted his journal online for all (the world) to see.
- used to tell someone where to look for information
• For further information, see Appendix A.
• See the explanatory notes at the beginning of the book.
• See [=look] below for details.
5 [+ obj]
a : to watch (a television program, movie, etc.)
• Did you see the baseball game (on TV) last night?
• I saw that movie, too.
b : to go to and watch (a performance, play, event, etc.)
• We saw the parade.
• We are seeing a play tonight.
6 [no obj]
- used in speech to direct someone's attention to something or someone
• See, I told you it would rain.
• See, the bus is coming.
7 [+ obj]
a : to think of (someone or something) in a certain way
• Looking back, I see things differently now.
• I see myself to be an understanding person.
• I see you now for what you really are: a liar and cheat.
• Try to see things from my point of view.
• In order to understand them, you have to see the world through their eyes.
- often + as
• She saw herself as an independent woman. [=she thought of herself as independent]
• He is seen as one of the best players in baseball.
• I see the job as a great opportunity.
- used to say what your opinion is about something
• “Can we do it?” “I don't see why not.” [=yes, I believe that we can do it]
• As I see it, you have only two choices.
• The way he sees it, we should be done by Friday. [=he thinks we should be done by Friday]
8 [+ obj]
a : to imagine (someone) as being or doing something specified
• Can you really see yourself any happier than you are now?
• I can't see her becoming a doctor.
• I can't see him objecting to our plan, can you?
- often + as
• She sees herself as a doctor in the future.
• I can still see her as she was years ago.
• Somehow, I just couldn't see him as a banker.
b : to form a mental picture of (something)
• He saw a great future for himself in baseball.
• I can see it now in my mind: you and her married with two kids.
9 : to understand (something)
• I see what you mean.
• I can see why/how you would feel that way.
• I don't see the point of your story.
• What's so funny? I don't see the joke.
• I don't see why we have to do that.
• I don't see how/that/why it matters.
• I can't get him to see reason/sense.
• “You should hold the club like this.” “Oh, I see.”
10 [+ obj]
a : to meet with (someone)
• I can see you later this afternoon.
• I'll be seeing my lawyer on Friday.
• Do you see your dentist regularly?
• The doctor is seeing a patient at the moment.
• He has been seeing a psychotherapist.
- often + about
• You should see a doctor about your rash.
• What would you like to see me about?
b : to visit (someone)
• I saw him at the hospital.
• I am seeing an old friend tomorrow.
c : to allow yourself to be visited by (someone)
• He's not seeing anyone today.
d : to be with and talk to (someone)
• I can't tell you how glad/pleased I am to see you again!
• We'll see you again real soon.
• They see each other less [=they spend less time together] now that he has a new job.
- used in phrases like see more/less of and see a lot of to describe how much time people spend with each other
• I'd like to see more of you. [=I'd like to spend more time with you]
• They've been seeing a lot of each other lately. [=they've been spending a lot of time together lately]
11 [+ obj] : to spend time with (someone) as part of a romantic relationship - usually used as be seeing
• They've been seeing each other for over a year.
• Are you seeing [=dating] anyone right now?
12 [+ obj] : to make sure (something) is done : to check that (something) is done
• See (that) the work gets finished on time. [=make sure that the work is finished on time]
• See that the door is locked before you leave the building.
13 [+ obj] : to experience (something)
• He saw a lot of action during the war.
• I never thought I would live to see the day when gas would cost so much.
• Nothing bothers him—he's seen it all before.
• Oil prices have seen a large increase.
14 [+ obj] : to be the place or time in which (something) happens
• The city has seen a lot of growth in recent years. [=the city has grown a lot in recent years]
• This year has seen a drop in profits. [=profits have dropped this year]
• The last decade saw many technological advances.
15 always followed by an adverb or preposition [+ obj] : to go somewhere with (someone)
• I'll see [=accompany] you home.
• They saw [=escorted] him out (of the club).
• My secretary will see you to the door.
• I can see myself out, thank you. [=I can leave without having anyone show me where to go]
• He kissed her goodbye and saw her onto the plane. [=he watched her get onto the plane]
- see also see off (below)
16 [+ obj] : to help or support (someone or something) for a particular period of time
• We had enough supplies to see us (out) to the end of winter. [=the supplies were enough to last until the end of winter]
- usually + through
• The support of his friends saw him through his depression. [=helped him to get through his depression]
• The legislators vowed to see the bill through Congress to make sure that it became a law.
• They have enough money to see them through.
17 [+ obj] : to make a bet that is equal to (another player's bet) in poker
• I'll see your 10 and raise you 10.
• I'll see you and raise 10.
has seen better days
- see 1better
I'll be seeing you informal
- used to say goodbye;
let me see, let's see
- see 1let
long time no see
- see 1long
not see the forest/wood for the trees
- see tree
see about [phrasal verb] see about (something)
1 : to do what is required for (something) : to deal with (something)
• She is seeing about getting tickets to the concert.
• I should see about [=attend to] dinner soon.
2 we'll (soon) see about that
- used in speech to say that you are not going to allow someone to do something or to behave in a particular way
• “He says that he's not going.” “Well, we'll (soon) see about that.”
see after [phrasal verb] see after (someone or something) : to take care of (someone or something)
• See after [=look after] the baggage, while I see if our flight is on time.
• Can you see after the baby for me?
see and be seen : to see and be noticed by important or fashionable people
• We go to the club to see and be seen.
see around/round [phrasal verb] see around/round (something) Brit : to move about while looking at (something) : to tour (something)
• If you'd like to see around [=look around] the factory, someone can accompany you.
- see 4double
see eye to eye : to have the same opinion : agree
- usually used in negative statements
• They don't see eye to eye on this issue.
- see 1fit
- used to introduce a statement when you want someone to notice what you are saying
• See here [=look here], you need to start behaving more responsibly.
see if I care
- see 2care
see in [phrasal verb] see (something) in (someone or something) : to notice or perceive (something good or attractive) in (someone or something)
• She saw great musical talent in her son.
• I think their plan is crazy, but he apparently sees something in it.
• I can't understand what she sees in him. = I don't know what she sees in him. [=I don't know why she likes/admires him]
seeing is believing
- see believe
see off [phrasal verb] see (someone) off or see off (someone)
1 : to go to an airport, train station, etc., with (someone who is leaving) in order to say goodbye
• She saw him off at the train station.
a : to chase or force (someone) away from a place
• The police finally saw them off.
b : to defeat or stop (an enemy, opponent, etc.)
• They saw off the opposition.
see out [phrasal verb] see (something) out : to continue to work at (something) until it is completed
• He saw the project out to its very end.
see over [phrasal verb] see over (something) Brit : to walk around and examine (a place) carefully
• They went to see the house over. [=look the house over]
- see 2red
- see 1star
see the back of
- see 1back
see the light, see the light of day
- see 1light
see things : to see things that do not really exist : hallucinate
• There's no one there—you must be seeing things.
see through [phrasal verb]
1 see through (someone or something) : to realize the true nature of (someone or something)
• She saw through his lies. [=she knew he was lying]
• I can't lie to her—she'd see right through me.
2 see (something) through : to continue to work at (something) until it is completed
• He saw the project through to the end.
- see also 1see 16 (above)
see to [phrasal verb]
1 see to (something) : to do or provide what is needed for (something)
• His uncle saw to his education. [=his uncle made the necessary payments, arrangements, etc., for his education]
• The hotel staff saw to [=attended to] my every need. : to deal with (something)
• I have to see to [=attend to] dinner.
• I'll see to your order at once.
• You really ought to have that rash seen to by a doctor.
2 see to it : to make sure that something is done
• Can you see to it that everyone gets a copy of this memo?
see you or see you around or see you later informal
- used to say goodbye
• “I guess I'll be going now.” “OK. (I'll) See you later.”
see your way (clear) to
- see 1way
what/who should you see but
- see should