sight

noun
\ˈsīt \

Definition of sight 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : something that is seen : spectacle

2a : a thing regarded as worth seeing usually used in plural the sights of the city

b : something ludicrous or disorderly in appearance you look a sight

3a chiefly dialectal : a great number or quantity

b : a good deal : lot a far sight better not by a damn sight

4a : the process, power, or function of seeing specifically : the physical sense by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space

b : mental or spiritual perception

c : mental view specifically : judgment

5a : the act of looking at or beholding

b : inspection, perusal

c : view, glimpse

d : an observation to determine direction or position (as by a navigator)

6a : a perception of an object by or as if by the eye never lost sight of the objective

b : the range of vision was nowhere in sight

7 : presentation of a note or draft to the maker or draftee : demand

8a : a device that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object

b sights plural : aspiration set her sights on a medical career

in sight

: at or within a reasonable distance or time

on sight

: as soon as seen ordered to shoot on sight

out of sight

1 : beyond comparison

2 : beyond all expectation or reason

3 used as a generalized expression of approval

sight for sore eyes

: one whose appearance or arrival is an occasion for joy or relief

sight

verb
sighted; sighting; sights

Definition of sight (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to get or catch sight of several whales were sighted

2 : to look at through or as if through a sight especially : to test for straightness

3 : to aim by means of sights

4a : to equip with sights

b : to adjust the sights of

intransitive verb

1 : to take aim

2 : to look carefully in a particular direction

sight

adjective

Definition of sight (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : based on recognition or comprehension without previous study sight translation

2 : payable on presentation a sight draft

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Cite, Sight, and Site

The three homophones cite, sight, and site are occasionally confused by some people when used as nouns (sight and site) or as verbs (all three words). They needn’t cause trouble: with a little thought, most people who struggle with them can settle upon the correct choice.

Cite is most often encountered in the sense of “to name in a citation”; it may also mean “to mention as an example” or “to order to appear in a court of law.“

Most of the senses of sight are concerned with the act or action of seeing. A wonderful spectacle might be described as a sight, as might the general capacity to see anything (“my sight is not as good as it once was”).

Site is most often concerned with location; it is related to the verb situate "to locate" and situation "a position." A building site is the place where the building is, or will be, located. In contemporary English, site has increasingly been used as a shortened form of website, for the location of a specific page on the Internet.

If you connect citation with cite, eyesight with sight, and situate with site, you are unlikely to make an error.

Examples of sight in a Sentence

Noun

She regained sight in her left eye. The officers were ordered to shoot on sight. Keep out of sight until I tell you it's OK to come out. The child wandered out of sight. Don't let the puppy out of your sight. The rabbit disappeared from sight into the tall grass. The controls are hidden from sight behind a panel.

Verb

They sighted a ship in the distance. Several bears have been sighted in the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Out of San Francisco, the Ocean Society made a trip to the Farallon Islands and sighted 15 humpback whales, five blue whales, one minke whale, 70 Risso’s dolphins, five northern right whale dolphins, and 80 Pacific white-sided dolphins. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Chart-buster times: salmon to whales, bears to bighorns," 8 July 2018 Mostly, though, there is the 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, which came into Mr. Jarecki’s sights a few years back and serves as both the documentary’s roving stage and silent co-star. Eugene Jarecki, New York Times, "Review: ‘The King’ Chases the American Dream and Elvis," 21 June 2018 Community leaders consider science to help predict potential Ramadan start dates, which are used to guide local moon-sighting committees. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "Muslims look to new moon for start of Ramadan, but few saw it this year," 16 May 2018 Some on social media criticized the channel's activities as reckless and short-sighted. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "'High on Life': Adrenaline-fueled YouTube channel mourns after 3 die in waterfall accident," 7 July 2018 This is inhumane, unconstitutional, and short-sighted. Michael Kiefer, azcentral, "Judge finds Arizona Corrections, officials in contempt, orders them to pay $1.45M," 22 June 2018 Possible tornadoes were sighted and more than 130,000 customers lost power. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "At least 2 dead, hundreds of thousands without power after violent storms slam Northeast," 16 May 2018 Some Phuds referred to these interlopers as wombats, and would issue wombat alerts if any were sighted entering the building. New York Times, "Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession," 13 Apr. 2018 In 2014, a black bear was sighted in another area of east Mesa several days before Christmas. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Officials searching for black bear seen roaming Mesa neighborhood," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Officials say the goal is to improve safety by giving drivers more sight distance. Fred Swegles, Orange County Register, "San Clemente news briefs: Free swimming at city pools, I-5 bridge work begins, more," 22 Feb. 2017 Sure, there are parts that stretch credibility (a tiny but apparently evil, rabbit is one), and there are sight jokes galore. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "‘Spamalot’ is an infectious crowd-pleaser at Palo Alto Players," 3 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sight

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sight

Noun

Middle English, from Old English gesiht faculty or act of sight, thing seen; akin to Old High German gisiht sight, Old English sēon to see

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Learn More about sight

Dictionary Entries near sight

sigh

sighful

sighingly

sight

sight board

sighted

sight edge

Statistics for sight

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sight

The first known use of sight was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

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More Definitions for sight

sight

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the sense through which a person or animal becomes aware of light, color, etc., by using the eyes : the ability to see

: the act of seeing someone or something

: a position in which someone or something can be seen

sight

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to see (something or someone that is being looked for or that is rarely seen or difficult to see)

sight

noun
\ˈsīt \

Kids Definition of sight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the function, process, or power of seeing : the sense by which a person or animal becomes aware of the position, form, and color of objects

2 : the act of seeing It was love at first sight.

3 : something that is seen : spectacle The northern lights were an amazing sight.

4 : something that is worth seeing He showed us the sights of the city.

5 : something that is peculiar, funny, or messy You're a sight!

6 : the presence of an object within the field of vision I can't stand the sight of blood. She caught sight of an eagle.

7 : the distance a person can see A ship came into sight.

8 : a device (as a small metal bead on a gun barrel) that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object

sight

verb
sighted; sighting

Kids Definition of sight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get a look at : see Their dog was sighted in a neighbor's garden.

2 : to look at through or as if through a device that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object

sight

noun
\ˈsīt \

Medical Definition of sight 

1 : something that is seen

2 : the process, power, or function of seeing specifically : the one of the five basic physical senses by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space

3a : a perception of an object by the eye

b : the range of vision

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sight

adjective

Legal Definition of sight 

: payable on presentation — see also sight draft at draft

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Comments on sight

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