From Middle English siȝht, siȝt, siht, from Old English siht, sihþ (“something seen; vision”), from Proto-West Germanic *sihti, 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)
- (in the singular) The ability to see.
- He is losing his sight and now can barely read.
c. 1588–1593, William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]: Thy sight is young, / And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle. 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: […] J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398, lines 67, page 12:
O loſs of ſight, of thee I moſt complain!
- The act of seeing; perception of objects by the eye; view.
- to gain sight of land
- 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; […]
- Something worth seeing; a spectacle, either good or bad.
- We went to London and saw all the sights – Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and so on.
- You really look a sight in that ridiculous costume!
- And Moses saide, I will nowe turne aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, Prothalamion
- They never saw a sight so fair.
- A device used in aiming a projectile, through which the person aiming looks at the intended target.
- A small aperture through which objects are to be seen, and by which their direction is settled or ascertained.
- the sight of a quadrant
c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
their eyes of fire sparking through sights of steel
- (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!
c. 1386–1390, John Gower, Reinhold Pauli, editor, Confessio Amantis of John Gower: Edited and Collated with the Best Manuscripts, volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Bell and Daldy […], published 1857, OCLC 827099568:
- A nombre of twenty sterres bright,
Which is to sene a wonder sight
- 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!"
- 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.
- (obsolete) The instrument of seeing; the eye.
c. 1607–1608, William Shakeſpeare, The Late, And much admired Play, Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. […], London: Imprinted at London for Henry Goſſon, […], published 1609, OCLC 78596089, [Act I, scene i]:
Why cloude they not their ſights perpetually,
- Mental view; opinion; judgment.
- In their sight it was harmless.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Wake to this entry?)
device used in aiming a firearm
sight (third-person singular simple present sights, present participle sighting, simple past and past participle sighted)
- (transitive) To register visually.
- (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
- (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
- (transitive) To take aim at.