not see the forest for the trees


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Some vendors who recently have been forced to hire a SQIL might not see the forest for the trees; possibly interpreting the program as either punitive, surveilling or both. Steve Tengler, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Can Oregon not see the forest for the trees? WSJ, 2 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'not see the forest for the trees.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near not see the forest for the trees

Cite this Entry

“Not see the forest for the trees.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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