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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 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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