not see the wood for the trees

Definition of not see the wood 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. :  violently mad

  1. :  woodland

    :  the hard fibrous substance consisting basically of xylem that makes up the greater part of the stems, branches, and roots of trees or shrubs beneath the bark and is found to a limited extent in herbaceous plants

    :  wood suitable or prepared for some use (as burning or building)

  1. :  wooden

    :  suitable for cutting or working with wood

    :  living, growing, or existing in woods

  1. :  to gather or take on wood

    :  to cover with a growth of trees or plant with trees

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 wood for the trees? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


capable of being understood in two ways

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