See also: Eye and ẹyẹ


A human eye, showing iris and pupil behind the transparent cornea
Compound eye of a species of fly, showing size gradation of ommatidia from top down. The ocelli are just visible at the top between the compound eyes
Eye of a sewing needle with thread passing through
The eye of a tropical cyclonic storm shows here as a dark spot in the middle of the white vortex of cloud as seen from a satellite


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English eye, eie, , eighe, eyghe, yȝe, eyȝe, from Old English ēage (eye), from Proto-West Germanic *augā, from Proto-Germanic *augô (eye) (compare Scots ee, West Frisian each, Dutch oog, German Auge, Danish øje, Norwegian Bokmål øye, Norwegian Nynorsk auga, Swedish öga), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃okʷ-, *h₃ekʷ- (eye; to see).

See also Latin oculus (whence English oculus), Lithuanian akìs, Old Church Slavonic око (oko), Albanian sy, Ancient Greek ὀφθαλμός (ophthalmós, eye), Armenian ակն (akn), Avestan 𐬀𐬱𐬌(aši, eyes), Sanskrit अक्षि (ákṣi). Related to ogle.

The uncommon plural form eyen is from Middle English eyen, from Old English ēagan, nominative and accusative plural of Old English ēage (eye).


eye (plural eyes or (obsolete or dialectal) eyen)

  1. An organ through which animals see (perceive surroundings via light).
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:eye
    Hyponym: ocellus
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry. His wooing had been brief but incisive.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, in The China Governess[2]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. It was blunt and grey, the nose springing thick and flat from high on the frontal bone of the forehead, whilst his eyes were narrow slits of dark in a tight bandage of tissue.  [] .
    • 2013 July-August, Fenella Saunders, “Tiny Lenses See the Big Picture”, in American Scientist[3]:
      The single-imaging optic of the mammalian eye offers some distinct visual advantages. Such lenses can take in photons from a wide range of angles, increasing light sensitivity. They also have high spatial resolution, resolving incoming images in minute detail.
    Bright lights really hurt my eyes.
  2. The visual sense.
    The car was quite pleasing to the eye, but impractical.
  3. The iris of the eye, being of a specified colour.
    Brown, blue, green, hazel eyes.
    Natalie's brown eyes looked into Jim's blue eyes, and the girl and boy flirted.
  4. Attention, notice.
    That dress caught her eye.
  5. The ability to notice what others might miss.
    Synonym: perceptiveness
    He has an eye for talent.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp[4]:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
  6. A meaningful stare or look.
    She was giving him the eye at the bar.
    When the car cut her off, she gave him the eye.
  7. A private eye: a privately hired detective or investigator.
  8. A hole at the blunt end of a needle through which thread is passed.
  9. The oval hole of an axehead through which the axehandle is fitted.
    • 1856 October 18, The People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator, page 6:
      [H]e struck the Duffer a sharp blow on the back of the head with the eye of the axe, and left him stunned and senseless on the earth[.]
  10. A fitting consisting of a loop of metal or other material, suitable for receiving a hook or the passage of a cord or line.
    Synonym: eyelet
  11. The relatively clear and calm center of a hurricane or other cyclonic storm.
  12. A mark on an animal, such as a peacock or butterfly, resembling a human eye.
  13. The dark spot on a black-eyed pea.
  14. A reproductive bud in a potato.
  15. (informal) The dark brown center of a black-eyed Susan flower.
  16. A loop forming part of anything, or a hole through anything, to receive a rope, hook, pin, shaft, etc. — e.g. at the end of a tie bar in a bridge truss; through a crank; at the end of a rope; or through a millstone.
  17. That which resembles the eye in relative importance or beauty.
  18. Tinge; shade of colour.
    • 1664, Robert Boyle, Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours
      Red with an eye of blue makes a purple.
  19. One of the holes in certain kinds of cheese.
  20. (architecture) The circle in the centre of a volute.
  21. (typography) The enclosed counter (negative space) of the small letter e.
  22. (game of Go) An empty point or group of points surrounded by one player's stones.
  23. (usually in the plural) View or opinion.
    This victory will make us great in the eyes of the world.
Derived termsEdit
  • Sranan Tongo: ai

See eye/translations § Noun.

See alsoEdit


eye (third-person singular simple present eyes, present participle eyeing or eying, simple past and past participle eyed)

  1. (transitive) To carefully or appraisingly observe (someone or something).
    After eyeing the document for half an hour, she decided not to sign it.
    They went out and eyed the new car one last time before deciding.
    • 1859, Fraser's Magazine (volume 60, page 671)
      Each downcast monk in silence takes / His place a newmade grave around, / Each one his brother sadly eying.
    Synonym: gaze (poetic)
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To appear; to look.
Derived termsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2Edit

Probably from rebracketing of a nye as an eye.


eye (plural eyes)

  1. A brood.
    an eye of pheasants


Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English eġe, from Proto-West Germanic *agi, from Proto-Germanic *agaz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂égʰos. Doublet of awe.

Alternative formsEdit



eye (uncountable)

  1. awe, reverence, worshipfulness
  2. horror, panic
  3. that which creates reverence; the exercise of power
  4. that which incites awe
  5. that which incites terror

Related termsEdit


  • English: ey (obsolete)


Etymology 2Edit



  1. Alternative form of eie




  1. very, of course, emphatic adverb

Tetelcingo NahuatlEdit



  1. hey!


  • Brewer, Forrest; Brewer, Jean G. (1962) Vocabulario mexicano de Tetelcingo, Morelos: Castellano-mexicano, mexicano-castellano (Serie de vocabularios indígenas Mariano Silva y Aceves; 8)‎[5] (in Spanish), México, D.F.: El Instituto Lingüístico de Verano en coordinación con la Secretaría de Educación Pública a través de la Dirección General de Internados de Enseñanza Primaria y Educación Indígena, published 1971, page 126

Tocharian BEdit


eye ?

  1. sheep




  1. (third-person singular pronoun)

See alsoEdit






  1. (Ekiti) mother, mom, a term of familiarity or respect for an older woman or older female relative.

Related TermsEdit

Derived TermsEdit

  • èyéyé (grandmother, maternal grandmother)