eye·​ball | \ ˈī-ˌbȯl How to pronounce eyeball (audio) \

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

Certainly not these days, and especially not with the World Cup competing for eyeballs. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Wimbledon Embraces Technology and Tradition in Unique Way," 2 July 2018 Your eyeballs are pretty important, as are periodic eye exams. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Exactly How Often You Really Need to See Different Kinds of Doctors," 17 Jan. 2019 Things get even worse if wearing your contacts for too long involves sleeping in them—that blocks oxygen flow to your eyeballs at night, which can lead to some serious irritation and possible infection. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It Terrible to Wear the Same Contact Lenses for a Long, Long Time?," 19 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile, opponents of the change feared a ratings crash that would mean fewer advertisers who could keep the pageant going (since, for better or worse, the swimsuit competition tended to draw eyeballs). Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Without the Swimsuit Competition, Miss America Feels Different This Time Around," 10 Sep. 2018 But the concept has merit in one respect: As bowl games become more about programming — finding the best pairing to draw eyeballs — than matchups, shouldn’t the Group of Five examine the best way to feature its own lineup? Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The problem with college football's postseason," 12 June 2018 That could be worrisome in terms of drawing new eyeballs. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Netflix Hasn’t Found an Expectation It Can’t Beat," 16 Apr. 2018 Predictably, Stephen Colbert was pleased as punch to note that Daniels and Anderson Cooper drew so many eyeballs—and not just because his Late Show also airs on CBS. Hillary Busis, HWD, "Stephen Colbert Celebrates Stormy Daniels’s Huge Ratings: “That’s Gotta Sting”," 27 Mar. 2018 Your makeup could also cause an allergic reaction in your eyeballs that intensifies over the course of the day, Dr. Duong says. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Possible Reasons Your Contacts Feel So Scratchy," 8 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In it, spoiler alert, Ariana goes from eyeballing the boy to copying his girlfriend's look (soooo, her own look, then?). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Hidden Sweetness In Ariana Grande's Sexy 'Break Up With Your Girlfriend' Video," 8 Feb. 2019 Just eyeballing it, most media professionals seem to consider the 2016 outcome a travesty yet avert their eyes from its decisive intrigue. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "New Hope for the Truth of 2016?," 16 Nov. 2018 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

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

14 Mar 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)

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


eye·​ball | \ ˈī-ˌbȯl How to pronounce eyeball (audio) \

Kids Definition of eyeball

: the whole eye


eye·​ball | \ ˈī-ˌbȯl How to pronounce eyeball (audio) \

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

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


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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