not see the forest for the trees

Definition of not see the forest for the trees


  1. :  to not understand or appreciate a larger situation, problem, etc., because one is considering only a few parts of it

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to perceive by the eye

    :  to perceive or detect as if by sight

    :  to have experience of :  undergo

  1. :  cathedra

    :  a cathedral town

    :  a seat of a bishop's office, power, or authority

  1. :  a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract

    :  a tract of wooded land in England formerly owned by the sovereign and used for game

    :  something resembling a forest especially in profusion or lushness

  1. :  to cover with trees or forest

treeplay trees
  1. :  a woody perennial plant having a single usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part

    :  a shrub or herb of arborescent form

    :  a piece of wood (such as a post or pole) usually adapted to a particular use or forming part of a structure or implement

  1. :  to drive to or up a tree

    :  to put into a position of extreme disadvantage :  corner

    :  to bring to bay

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up not see the forest for the trees? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a dividing ridge between drainage areas

Get Word of the Day daily email!