• See


    • UK enPR: sÄ“, IPA: /siː/
    • US enPR: sÄ“, IPA: /si/
    • Rhymes: -iː
    • Homophones: C, cee, sea

    Origin 1

    From Middle English seen, from Old English sēon ("to see, look, behold, perceive, observe, discern, understand, know"), from Proto-Germanic *sehwaną ("to see"), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ- ("to see, notice"). Cognate with West Frisian sjen ("to see"), Dutch zien ("to see"), Low German sehn, German sehen ("to see"), Danish and Swedish se ("to see"), and more distantly with Latin sīgnum ("sign, token"), Albanian shih ("look at, see") imp. of shoh ("to see").

    Full definition of see


    1. To perceive or detect with the eyes, or as if by sight.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 1, Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path. ... It twisted and turned, ... and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights. 'Twas the house I'd seen the roof of from the beach.
    2. To form a mental picture of.
      • 2013-08-23, Mark Cocker, Wings of Desire, It is not just that we see birds as little versions of ourselves. It is also that, at the same time, they stand outside any moral process. They are utterly indifferent. This absolute oblivion on their part, this lack of sharing, is powerful.
    3. (figuratively) To understand.
      • 2013-06-28, Joris Luyendijk, Our banks are out of control, Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic .... Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. ... But the scandals kept coming .... A broad section of the political class now recognises the need for change but remains unable to see the necessity of a fundamental overhaul.
    4. Do you see what I mean?
    5. To witness or observe by personal experience.
      Now I've seen it all!   Michael saw Will off at the train station.
      I have been blind since birth and I love to read Braille. When the books arrive in from the library, I can’t wait to see what stories they have sent me.
      I saw military service in Vietnam.
      • Bible, John viii. 51Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
    6. To have an interview with; especially, to make a call upon; to visit.to go to see a friend
      • Bible, 1 Samuel xv. 35And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death.
    7. (by extension) To ensure that something happens, especially while witnessing it.
      I'll see you hang for this!   I saw that they didn't make any more trouble.
    8. (gambling) To respond to another player's bet with a bet of equal value.
      I'll see your twenty dollars and raise you ten.
    9. To date frequently.
      I've been seeing her for two months
    10. (sometimes mystical) To foresee, predict, or prophesy.
      The oracle saw the destruction of the city.
    11. To determine by trial or experiment; to find out (if or whether).I'll come over later and see if I can fix your computer.


    Origin 2

    From Latin sedes ("seat"), referring to the bishop's throne or chair (compare seat of power) in the cathedral; related to the Latin verb sedere ("to sit").



    (plural sees)
    1. A diocese, archdiocese; a region of a church, generally headed by a bishop, especially an archbishop.
    2. The office of a bishop or archbishop; bishopric or archbishopric
    3. A seat; a site; a place where sovereign power is exercised.
      • SpenserJove laughed on Venus from his sovereign see.

    Related terms

    terms related to see (noun)

    Derived terms


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