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

With that team, certainly, more eyeballs were on our broadcast. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Kerry Wood and ‘the greatest game ever pitched’: The oral history of May 6, 1998 at Wrigley Field," 1 May 2018 This year’s Tampa team, though, will struggle to draw eyeballs after selling off its biggest name pieces this winter and instead rolls out an endless series of guys who will hit .275 with 15 home runs and play second base. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Yankees? Yes! Angels? Sure! Tigers? No! Ranking the Watchability of Every MLB Team This Season," 2 Apr. 2018 Hidden within the systems designed to capture your eyeballs and seize your attention, there is also a capacity to watch slowly and mindfully. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "In the Age of Despair, Find Comfort on the ‘Slow Web’," 8 July 2018 Don't be intimidated by how much of Big Brother there will be for your eyeballs to consume. Demetrio Teniente, Houston Chronicle, "Peek inside the Big Brother House for season 20," 25 June 2018 Android Messages doesn’t have a dark theme on mobile, but Google has created one for the web, where all the app’s whites and light grays might overload your eyeballs at night. Chris Welch, The Verge, "How to text from your computer with Android Messages," 19 June 2018 The space behind my eyeballs started to relax and soften. Annabelle Dunne, Vogue, "I Took 30 Days Off From My Job, Family, and Cell Phone—Here’s What Happened," 17 June 2018 That might not sound like a big deal, but blinking spreads a film of tears over your eyeball that protects it from eye strain and fatigue. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "3 Tricks to Help Your Eyes When You're Staring at Your Phone All the Time," 6 June 2018 Janelle LaSalle as Jesus is cipher to her crowd of followers, always looking at them but seeing something else, as if a panorama of the universe clouds her eyeballs. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Shesus’ lives — and rocks — in Ray of Light’s ‘Superstar’," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Armed with this information, the robot can then walk the same route autonomously, using its cameras to eyeball a now-familiar world. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Watch Out, Pro Racers: These Drones Just Learned to Fly Solo," 27 June 2018 And yet: Between the personal and legal troubles that trailed his arrival, the conditions imposed upon his two-year contractual stay, and the millions eyeballing his future, Manziel represents an entirely unprecedented case. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Johnny Manziel’s Last Chance—as a Backup in the CFL," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Most of the models wore slicked-down hair with deep side parts, large eyeball earrings, and striking black eyeliner drawn in spiky lines above and below their eyes. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Dior's Spring 2018 Couture Collection Features Temporary Collarbone Tattoos," 23 Jan. 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

10 Oct 2018

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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Comments on eyeball

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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