eye

noun
\ ˈī How to pronounce eye (audio) \

Definition of eye

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a specialized light-sensitive sensory structure of animals that in nearly all vertebrates, most arthropods, and some mollusks is the image-forming organ of sight especially : the nearly spherical usually paired hollow organ of sight in vertebrates that is filled with a jellylike material, is lined with a photosensitive retina, and is lodged in a bony orbit in the skull
b : all the visible structures within and surrounding the orbit and including eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows
c(1) : the faculty of seeing with eyes
(2) : the faculty of intellectual or aesthetic perception or appreciation an eye for beauty
(3) : skill or ability dependent upon eyesight a batter with a good eye
d : look, glance cast an eager eye
e(1) : an attentive look kept an eye on his valuables
(2) : attention, notice caught his eye
(3) : close observation : scrutiny works under the eye of her boss in the public eye
f : point of view, judgment beauty is in the eye of the beholder often used in plural an offender in the eyes of the law
2 : something having an appearance suggestive of an eye: such as
a : the hole through the head of a needle
b : a usually circular marking (as on a peacock's tail)
c : loop especially : a loop or catch to receive a hook
d : an undeveloped bud (as on a potato)
e : an area like a hole in the center of a tropical cyclone marked by only light winds or complete calm with no precipitation
f : the center of a flower especially when differently colored or marked specifically : the disk of a composite
g(1) : a triangular piece of beef cut from between the top and bottom of a round
(2) : the chief muscle of a chop
(3) : a compact mass of muscular tissue usually embedded in fat in a rib or loin cut of meat
h : a device (such as a photoelectric cell) that functions in a manner analogous to human vision
3 : something central : center the eye of the problem— Norman Mailer
4 : the direction from which the wind is blowing
an eye for an eye
: retribution in kind
my eye
used to express mild disagreement or sometimes surprise a diamond, my eye! That's glass
with an eye to or less commonly with an eye toward
1 : with awareness or contemplation of with an eye to the future
2 : with the object of built the house with an eye to adding on later

eye

verb
eyed; eyeing or eying

Definition of eye (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to fix the eyes on : look at they eyed him suspiciously
(2) : contemplate, consider eyeing the choices
b : to watch or study closely eyeing changes in the stock market
2 : to furnish with an eye

Illustration of eye

Illustration of eye

Noun

eye 1a: 1 optic nerve, 2 blind spot, 3 fovea, 4 sclera, 5 choroid, 6 retina, 7 ciliary body, 8 posterior chamber, 9 anterior chamber, 10 cornea, 11 lens, 12 iris, 13 suspensory ligament, 14 conjunctiva, 15 vitreous humor

In the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from eye

Noun

eyeless \ ˈī-​ləs How to pronounce eye (audio) \ adjective
eyelike \ ˈī-​ˌlīk How to pronounce eye (audio) \ adjective

Verb

eyer \ ˈī(-​ə)r How to pronounce eye (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for eye

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

The eye is an organ that receives light and visual images. Non-image forming eyes (also called direction eyes) are found among worms, mollusks, cnidarians, echinoderms, and other invertebrates. Image-forming eyes are found in certain mollusks, most arthropods, and nearly all vertebrates. Arthropods are unique in possessing a compound eye, which results in their seeing a multiple image that is partially integrated in the brain. Lower vertebrates, such as fish, have eyes on either side of the head, allowing a maximum view of the surroundings, but producing two separate fields of vision. In predatory birds and mammals, binocular vision is more important. The placement of both eyes on the front of the head permits a larger overlap of the two visual fields, resulting in a parallel line of direct sight.

Examples of eye in a Sentence

Noun Her eyes slowly became accustomed to the dark. He wears a patch over one eye. I have something in my eye. Only a trained eye can tell the difference between the original painting and a good copy. For decorating, they rely on her discerning eye. He has an artist's eye for color. He reviewed the proposal with a jaundiced eye. The biographer cast a cold eye on the artist's life. Verb I saw someone eyeing me from across the street. a lot of his backyard bird watching was spent eyeing the squirrels as they depleted the bird feeder of seeds
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her company’s eye-popping returns sparked a cult following, and tens of billions of investment dollars are flowing into ARK’s coffers. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Is this the world’s best stock picker?," 27 Feb. 2021 That means, of course, that Mullaney has his sights on Initial Public Offering (IPO), which has been yielding eye-popping valuations for cloud infrastructure companies. R. Scott Raynovich, Forbes, "Aviatrix Pumps Up Multi-Cloud Networking With $75M Round," 24 Feb. 2021 Those who like raw numbers look at Beckham as the player who was eye-popping in New York early in his career. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Can we have a realistic discussion about Odell Beckham Jr.? Terry Pluto," 24 Feb. 2021 Snap has said users open its app an eye-popping average of 30 times a day. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Snap Drops a Bombshell Filter," 24 Feb. 2021 Under Neumann's leadership, WeWork raised billions of dollars, scaled its coworking operations to hundreds of cities around the world, and was valued at an eye-popping $47 billion during one investment round. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Former WeWork CEO in talks to get nearly $500 million in SoftBank settlement," 23 Feb. 2021 The whirlwind of free agency – and an eye-popping four-year, $120 million deal for Gordon who left the Boston Celtics for the Charlotte Hornets – and frenzy of moving his family from the northeast to the south is evaporating. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Gordon Hayward rounding into All-Star form at new home in Charlotte," 23 Feb. 2021 If the eye-popping $1.9 trillion stimulus plan indeed passes, the Bidenian largesse could signal a sea change in the government's approach to spending. Star Tribune, "Biden's 'go big' plan is a daring experiment," 22 Feb. 2021 And early investors who stuck it out are seeing eye-popping returns. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Bitcoin’s market cap tops $1 trillion," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Customers walk in and eye the day's selection of fish. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "'You buy, we fry' in metro Detroit: 6 spots for fish specials during Lent," 26 Feb. 2021 As the Conservatives eye an unprecedented fifth election win in a row for the Conservatives—a feat matched only by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, in coalitions—the early signs are promising. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, "The Sordid Story of the Most Successful Political Party in the World," 23 Feb. 2021 In his second year at Naaman Forest, Perales and his Rangers — led by junior running back Kingsley Bennett and seniors Devean Deal and Tommy Dunn — won a district title and now eye a playoff win against Tyler Legacy. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Previews and predictions for notable high school football games (Dec. 10-12), from bi-district matchups to state semifinals," 9 Dec. 2020 And his plays Sunday helped spark a crucial turn of events as the Bears eye their second playoff berth in three years. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "Roquan Smith’s 2nd-quarter interception provides a crucial pick-me-up in the Chicago Bears’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars: ‘I don’t think he gets enough credit’," 27 Dec. 2020 Online rivals, including Asos and Boohoo, might eye some of Arcadia’s brands, particularly the jewel in the crown, Topshop, although even that star has faded in recent years. Deirdre Hipwell, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. Retail Emerges From Lockdown as a Much Diminished Industry," 2 Dec. 2020 But as Hong Kong becomes an increasingly Chinese financial hub, more Chinese firms will likely eye the city for their IPOs. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is catching all of China’s FAANGs," 2 Dec. 2020 Once restaurants were able to operate dining rooms in early June, Avezzano began to eye an early July opening. Kelly Dearmore, Dallas News, "The Avezzano family keeps Coach Joe’s legacy alive with new Yonkers Pizza Company," 18 Nov. 2020 Fear is widespread, as Americans eye each other with suspicion. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Americans, fearing post-election violence, are eyeing each other with suspicion," 1 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of eye

Noun

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for eye

Noun

Middle English, from Old English ēage; akin to Old High German ouga eye, Latin oculus, Greek ōps eye, face, Sanskrit akṣi eye

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eye

Time Traveler for eye

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for eye

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eye.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eye. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eye

eye

noun

English Language Learners Definition of eye

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of the body that you see with
: an ability to understand and appreciate something seen
used to describe the way something looks to you

eye

verb

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

: to watch or look at (someone or something) in a very close or careful way

eye

noun
\ ˈī How to pronounce eye (audio) \

Kids Definition of eye

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the organ of seeing that in vertebrates is a round organ filled with a jellylike material, is located in a bony cavity in the skull, and has a lens which focuses light on the retina
2 : the eye along with its surrounding parts (as the eyelids)
3 : the colored surface of the iris He has blue eyes.
4 : the ability to see I have good eyes.
5 : the ability to recognize or appreciate He has a good eye for color.
6 : glance entry 2 It caught my eye.
7 : close attention : watch Keep an eye on dinner.
8 : judgment sense 1 They are guilty in the eyes of the law.
9 : something like or suggesting an eye the eye of a needle
10 : the center of something the eye of a hurricane

Other Words from eye

eyed \ ˈīd \ adjective
eyeless \ ˈī-​ləs \ adjective

eye

verb
eyed; eyeing or eying

Kids Definition of eye (Entry 2 of 2)

: to look at : watch closely They eyed the stranger suspiciously.

eye

noun
\ ˈī How to pronounce eye (audio) \

Medical Definition of eye

1 : an organ of sight especially : a nearly spherical hollow organ that is lined with a sensitive retina, is lodged in a bony orbit in the skull, is the vertebrate organ of sight, and is normally paired
2 : all the visible structures within and surrounding the orbit and including eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows
3 : the faculty of seeing with eyes

Other Words from eye

eyeless \ ˈī-​ləs How to pronounce eye (audio) \ adjective
eyelike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce eye (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on eye

What made you want to look up eye? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!