From Middle English siȝht, siȝt, siht, from Old English siht, sihþ(something seen; vision), from Proto-Germanic *sihtiz, equivalent to see +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots Scots sicht, Saterland Frisian Sicht, West Frisian sicht, Dutch zicht, German Low German Sicht, German Sicht, Danish sigte, Swedish sikte.



sight ‎(countable and uncountable, plural sights)

  1. (in the singular) The ability to see.
    • Shakespeare
      Thy sight is young, / And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle.
    • Milton
      O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
  2. The act of seeing; perception of objects by the eye; view.
    to gain sight of land
    • Bible, Acts i. 9
      A cloud received him out of their sight.
  3. Something seen.
    • 2005, Lesley Brown (translator), Plato (author), Sophist, 236d:
    • He's a really remarkable man and it's very hard to get him in one's sights; []
  4. Something worth seeing; a spectacle.
    You really look a sight in that silly costume!
    • Bible, Exodus iii. 3
      Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
    • Spenser
      They never saw a sight so fair.
  5. A device used in aiming a projectile, through which the person aiming looks at the intended target.
  6. A small aperture through which objects are to be seen, and by which their direction is settled or ascertained.
    the sight of a quadrant
    • Shakespeare
      their eyes of fire sparking through sights of steel
  7. (now colloquial) a great deal, a lot; frequently used to intensify a comparative.
    a sight of money
    This is a darn sight better than what I'm used to at home!
    • Gower
      a wonder sight of flowers
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 2
      "If your mother put you in the pit at twelve, it's no reason why I should do the same with my lad."
      "Twelve! It wor a sight afore that!"
  8. In a drawing, picture, etc., that part of the surface, as of paper or canvas, which is within the frame or the border or margin. In a frame, the open space, the opening.
  9. (obsolete) The instrument of seeing; the eye.
    • Shakespeare
      Why cloud they not their sights?
  10. Mental view; opinion; judgment.
    In their sight it was harmless.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wake to this entry?)
    • Bible, Luke xvi. 15
      That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.


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sight ‎(third-person singular simple present sights, present participle sighting, simple past and past participle sighted)

  1. (transitive) To register visually.
  2. (transitive) To get sight of (something).
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I was on my way to the door, but all at once, through the fog in my head, I began to sight one reef that I hadn't paid any attention to afore.
    to sight land from a ship
  3. (transitive) To apply sights to; to adjust the sights of; also, to give the proper elevation and direction to by means of a sight.
    to sight a rifle or a cannon
  4. (transitive) To take aim at.


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Most common English words before 1923: sometimes · account · party · #454: sight · electronic · sea · necessary