\ ˈsē How to pronounce see (audio) \
saw\ ˈsȯ How to pronounce saw (audio) \; seen\ ˈsēn How to pronounce seen (audio) \; seeing\ ˈsē-​iŋ How to pronounce seeing (audio) \

Definition of see

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to perceive by the eye
b : to perceive or detect as if by sight
2a : to have experience of : undergo see army service
b : to come to know : discover
c : to be the setting or time of the last fifty years have seen a sweeping revolution in science— Barry Commoner
3a : to form a mental picture of : visualize can still see her as she was years ago
b : to perceive the meaning or importance of : understand
c : to be aware of : recognize sees only our faults
d : to imagine as a possibility : suppose couldn't see him as a crook
4a : examine, watch want to see how she handles the problem
b(1) : read
(2) : to read of
c : to attend as a spectator see a play
5a : to take care of : provide for had enough money to see us through
b : to make sure see that order is kept
6a : to regard as : judge
b : to prefer to have I'll see him hanged first I'll see you dead before I accept your terms
c : to find acceptable or attractive can't understand what he sees in her
7a : to call on : visit
b(1) : to keep company with especially in courtship or dating had been seeing each other for a year
(2) : to grant an interview to : receive the president will see you now
8 : accompany, escort see the guests to the door
9 : to meet (a bet) in poker or to equal the bet of (a player) : call

intransitive verb

1a : to give or pay attention
b : to look about
2a : to have the power of sight
b : to apprehend objects by sight
c : to perceive objects as if by sight
3a : to grasp something mentally
b : to acknowledge or consider something being pointed out see, I told you it would rain
4 : to make investigation or inquiry
see after
: to attend to : care for
see eye to eye
: to have a common viewpoint : agree
see red
: to become very angry
see the light
: to discover or realize a usually obscured truth
see the light of day
: to become publicly known or available (as through publication) manuscripts that will never see the light of day
see things see through
: to grasp the true nature of saw through the scheme
see to
: to attend to : care for



Definition of see (Entry 2 of 3)

1a archaic : cathedra
b : a cathedral town
c : a seat of a bishop's office, power, or authority
2 : the authority or jurisdiction of a bishop


biographical name
\ ˈsē How to pronounce See (audio) \

Definition of See (Entry 3 of 3)

Thomas Jefferson Jackson 1866–1962 American astronomer and mathematician

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Other Words from see


seeable \ ˈsē-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce seeable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of see in a Sentence


It was so dark that I couldn't see anything. I can't see a thing without my glasses. Would you turn on the light? I can hardly see a thing. Let me see what you're holding in your hand. I saw your sister at the party, but I didn't talk to her. I saw her take the money. Nobody saw the accident happen. He was last seen leaving his house yesterday morning. You have to see it to believe it. “He says he's coming.” “I'll believe it when I see it.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At Mexico’s El Castillo, among the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, even more assemble on the same date to see the sun make shadows that look like a snake slithering down the pyramid steps. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "What Exactly Is the Spring Equinox?," 19 Mar. 2019 Which means Congress may soon have a chance to see the final report — or at least, a summary of its findings — and learn once and for all what really happened and how deeply the president himself and others around him may have been involved. Alex Ward, Vox, "These are the Trump associates who’ve pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe," 20 Feb. 2019 Legend has it that local fisherman liked to see the bright colors on their way into town, and the residents also use the bright paint to delineate where one property begins and ends. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019 Whereas Charles has been to all of them but Cuba—not surprising, given that he's been to 45 out of the 53 nations in the Commonwealth—Camilla will see many of these places for the first time. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles and Camilla Plan a Royal Tour of the Caribbean, Including a Historic Visit to Cuba," 15 Feb. 2019 And seeing you with our children, Ella and Alexander, is the greatest joy in my life. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Amal Clooney Accepts UN Global Citizens Award," 6 Dec. 2018 So bundle up, get a cup of hot chocolate, and go see the holiday magic for yourself! Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "Saks Fifth Avenue Serves Up Holiday Window Magic," 6 Dec. 2018 Of course, whenever these symptoms start affecting your daily life, go see a doctor. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "7 Period Symptoms That Are Totally Normal," 5 Dec. 2018 The tile floors are custom, made to evoke a pattern Ellis saw in Valencia, Spain. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "“Every morning, I wake up and notice something new about it”," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Castel Sant'Angelo This imposing mausoleum and fortress right on the banks of the Tiber next to the Vatican is not often on the must-see lists of visitors to Rome. Laura Itzkowitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "Rome's Art & Architecture: Our Guide," 5 Mar. 2018 Scroll through for all the essential must-sees (and -eats and -dos), like the futuristic park Gardens By the Bay. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Singapore: The (Mini) Black Book," 14 Nov. 2018 The museum's Cy Twombly Gallery, dedicated to the painter's epic multiple-panel works and sculptures, a site-specific Dan Flavin installation of fluorescent-light tubes, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, and the Rothko Chapel are also must-sees. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Houston in October 2018," 1 Oct. 2018 Zoe will be watching the must-see shows live from her iPad rather than the crowded front row. Alicia Brunker, ELLE Decor, "This Celebrity Designer is Skipping Fashion Week...To Stay Home," 5 Feb. 2014 As for the chaos abroad, the Democrats are in see-no-evil denial. Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News, Fox News, "Charles Krauthammer, conservative commentator and Pulitzer Prize winner, dead at 68," 21 June 2018 Behati Prinsloo, 29, made her return to the runway at Sunday’s show, sporting a see-through blouse and joggers less than four months after giving birth to her second daughter Gio Grace with husband Adam Levine on February 15. Kaitlyn Frey,, "All the Must-See Moments from Alexander Wang's Star-Studded Fashion Show," 4 June 2018 In a see-saw battle, a two-run single by Tony Renda and an RBI single by Austin Rei gave Portland a 3-0 first-inning lead and chased starter Jack Wynkoop. Staff Report,, "Tendler's Pinch-Hit Homer In 9th Lifts Sea Dogs Past Yard Goats," 4 July 2018 For a sense of time and history, the must-sees include the 1848 Gold Discovery Site and Sutter’s Mill. Tom Stienstra,, "Sunday getaway to Coloma," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'see.' 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 see


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for see


Middle English seen, from Old English sēon; akin to Old High German sehan to see and perhaps to Latin sequi to follow — more at sue


Middle English se, from Anglo-French sé, see, from Latin sedes seat; akin to Latin sedēre to sit — more at sit

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Dictionary Entries near see






see about

see action

Statistics for see

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for see

The first known use of see was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for see



English Language Learners Definition of see

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to notice or become aware of (someone or something) by using your eyes
: to have the ability to see : to have the power of sight
: to be or become aware of (something)



English Language Learners Definition of see (Entry 2 of 2)

: the area in which a bishop has authority
: the authority or power of a bishop
: the office of a bishop


\ ˈsē How to pronounce see (audio) \
saw\ ˈsȯ \; seen\ ˈsēn \; seeing

Kids Definition of see

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have the power of sight The book is in braille for those who cannot see.
2 : to view with the eyes Did you see me fall?
3 : to have experience of This motel has seen better days.
4 : to understand the meaning or importance of Do you see what I mean?
5 : to come to know : discover He'll be angry when he sees what you've done.
6 : to call on : visit He's going to see a friend.
7 : to form a mental picture of I can still see your father when he was a boy.
8 : to imagine as a possibility I can't see myself ever getting married.
9 : to make sure See that the job gets done.
10 : to attend to I'll see to your order at once.
11 : to meet with The doctor will see you now.
12 : accompany sense 1, escort I'll see you home.



Kids Definition of see (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the city in which a bishop's church is located
2 : diocese


\ ˈsē How to pronounce see (audio) \
saw\ ˈsȯ How to pronounce saw (audio) \; seen\ ˈsēn How to pronounce seen (audio) \; seeing\ ˈsē-​iŋ How to pronounce seeing (audio) \

Medical Definition of see

transitive verb

: to perceive by the eye

intransitive verb

1 : to have the power of sight
2 : to apprehend objects by sight

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More from Merriam-Webster on see

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with see

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for see

Spanish Central: Translation of see

Nglish: Translation of see for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of see for Arabic Speakers

Comments on see

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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