eye·​ball | \ ˈī-ˌbȯl \

Definition of eyeball

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the more or less globular capsule of the vertebrate eye formed by the sclera and cornea together with their contained structures
2 eyeballs plural : people who view something (such as an advertisement) websites competing for eyeballs


eyeballed; eyeballing; eyeballs

Definition of eyeball (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to look at intently especially in making an evaluation or choice diners eyeballing the menu eyeball the competition



Definition of eyeball (Entry 3 of 3)

: based on observation eyeball judgment

Examples of eyeball in a Sentence


The children were eyeballing the desserts.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Except this time participants will race inside a rubber eyeball. Greg Burnett, cleveland.com, "If it's weird, strange and fun, it must be Oddmall in Akron," 5 May 2018 Prescription dry eye medications There are a few different options here depending on what’s going on with your eyeballs. Korin Miller, SELF, "So Your Doctor Says You Have Dry Eye? Here Are 8 Treatment Options to Know," 13 Dec. 2018 Want to shoot pink jolts of electricity from your eyeballs? Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "LEGO DC Super-Villains," 22 Oct. 2018 In other words, our brains are pretty simple: the smaller screen means the colorful apps and notifications so carefully designed to hog your eyeball all day and night are not as fun to look at. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The only thing that can protect you from your gadgets is more gadgets.," 15 Oct. 2018 My eyeballs are shaped more like lemons than like baseballs. Emily Sohn, Washington Post, "Even if a medical test shows an abnormality, you may not need to worry about it," 3 June 2018 But Netflix has plenty of eyeballs still to sweep up—not only in international markets such as India and South America, but also at home, where cord-cutting continues apace. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Why No One Can Catch Netflix," 26 Aug. 2018 There’s no free option available for sellers, but the number of eyeballs your listing will get here should ease the pain of paying a small fee to sell. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Best Sites to Buy and Sell Your Car Online," 7 Aug. 2018 If eBay is a machine for finding the right price for a pair of shoes, Facebook — behind the veneer of enabling human connection — is a machine for discovering the right price for a pair of eyeballs. John Herrman, New York Times, "Want to Understand What Ails the Modern Internet? Look at eBay," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On the first floor, Erika Girardi—better known as dazzling pop icon, alter-ego Erika Jayne—is eyeballing every glittering heel on the Balenciaga display and reminiscing about her life before the spotlight. Vogue, "Watch Erika Jayne’s Unexpected—And Unforgettable—Night at Neiman’s," 5 Dec. 2018 Recently, though, the wineries have become a common second stop after the chance to eyeball those armies. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why China Should Be Your Next Wine Destination," 11 Sep. 2018 One team eyeballs the flour, and accidentally doubles the milk. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Philly.com, "For these immigrants, flipping pancakes and learning English go hand-in-hand," 12 July 2018 One girl was sitting glumly by the window, eyeballing a function she was supposed to evaluate: If f(x) = 3.2x^2 - 1.44(x+x^3), find f(2.7). Kyle Spencer, Washington Post, "Here’s an approach to math phobia that could add up: Tackle the fear head on," 25 Mar. 2018 Dell advertises 400 nits of brightness and while eyeballing it next to the Spectre 15-inch x360, the Dell definitely appears to be the brighter and better looking 4K experience. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review: jack of all trades," 2 July 2018 Miller, who had gone home to watch, let Aaron Kessler, assistant director of the Golden Nugget sports book, stick around to eyeball the developments. David Montero, latimes.com, "Casino owner bet big that Michigan would win it all. Instead, he watches $1 million slip away," 3 Apr. 2018 He’s built sports cars just by eyeballing them, recreated his favorite New York bar in his hometown and designed a Japanese garden in Manhattan in August — with snow. Adam Popescu, New York Times, "Tobias Rehberger’s Friends Are Always With Him," 26 June 2018 Advances in genetic testing and technological differentiation of species—as opposed to the old-school method of just eyeballing them for differences—will undoubtedly help save other species. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The 6-Foot Chinese Giant Salamander Is in Serious Trouble," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Remember, Google had the eyeball thing and the ear thing? Eric Johnson, Recode, "If they don’t want to lose their jobs to a machine, doctors will need to become compassionate ‘human connectors’," 17 Sep. 2018 One of the features of this one will be an eyeball race down the river. Greg Burnett, cleveland.com, "If it's weird, strange and fun, it must be Oddmall in Akron," 5 May 2018 Simply tap the eyeball icon to reveal the lingering ghosts of relationships past! Beca Grimm, The Cut, "13 Women on Being ‘Orbited’ by Their Exes on Social Media," 4 May 2018 Their objection is to how it is being used primarily by tech giants to boost eyeball time. Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time, "You're Addicted to Your Smartphone. This Company Thinks It Can Change That," 13 Apr. 2018 The Kia’s cabin design is a pastiche of the Mercedes-Benz, with three eyeball air outlets, tablet-style center screen, and banded aluminum switches. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2018 Kia Stinger GT2: The Best German Car to Come Out of South Korea," 6 Apr. 2018 The music video gives fans a glimpse of the band's studio time with James, which apparently includes doodling on guitars, playing with fake eyeball props, and snapping photos on a disposable camera. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard Just Released His First Song and We're Already Groupies," 7 Mar. 2018 Apparently there is a practice known as eyeball tattooing in which a person permanently dyes the whites of his or her eyes. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Dead or alive: Where proposed laws stand at Indiana legislature with less than 2 weeks to go," 13 Feb. 2018 More than most dance makers, Pite forcefully delivers a full range of expressive possibilities from the tiniest eyeball twitch to bodies stretched and twisted to extremes. Laura Bleiberg, latimes.com, "In 'Betroffenheit,' wrenching tragedy becomes an enlightening dance drama," 15 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eyeball.' 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 eyeball


1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined above


1914, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for eyeball

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eyeball

The first known use of eyeball was in 1575

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More Definitions for eyeball



English Language Learners Definition of eyeball

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the entire round part of the eye



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

: to look at or stare at (someone or something)


eye·​ball | \ ˈī-ˌbȯl \

Kids Definition of eyeball

: the whole eye


eye·​ball | \ ˈī-ˌbȯl \

Medical Definition of eyeball

: the more or less globular capsule of the vertebrate eye formed by the sclera and cornea together with their contained structures

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More from Merriam-Webster on eyeball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eyeball

Spanish Central: Translation of eyeball

Nglish: Translation of eyeball for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about eyeball

Comments on eyeball

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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