\ 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 be aware of : recognize sees only our faults
b : to imagine as a possibility : suppose couldn't see him as a crook
c : to form a mental picture of : visualize can still see her as she was years ago
d : to perceive the meaning or importance of : understand
3a : to come to know : discover
b : to be the setting or time of The last fifty years have seen a sweeping revolution in science …— Barry Commoner
c : to have experience of : undergo see army service
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 make sure See that order is kept.
b : to take care of : provide for had enough money to see us through
6a : to find acceptable or attractive can't understand what he sees in her
b : to regard as : judge
c : to prefer to have I'll see him hanged first. I'll see you dead before I accept your terms.
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 apprehend objects by sight
b : to have the power of sight
c : to perceive objects as if by sight
2a : to look about
b : to give or pay attention
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 : a seat of a bishop's office, power, or authority
b : a cathedral town
c archaic : cathedra
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

Verb 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 The comet has been spotted in the northern hemisphere this week and NASA said some people have been able to see it with the naked eye, although the tail is more visible through binoculars or a telescope. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Bright nighttime skies will make it difficult to see rare comet from Alaska," 13 July 2020 In the upcoming week, people are likely to see you in your best possible light, giving you a chance to make your fondest dreams come true. oregonlive, "Horoscope for July 12, 2020: Happy birthday Rachel Brosnahan; Libra, make your fondest dreams come true," 12 July 2020 This was just one instance in which physiological sensations during EMDR enabled me to build a fuller picture of my traumatic memories in order to see them more rationally and constructively. Nathalie Olah,, "My Experience Of EMDR – The Cutting Edge Therapy Used To Treat Trauma," 12 July 2020 Good companies might go under for a want of cash to see them through the covid-19 shutdown. The Economist, "Buttonwood More corporate defaults seem to be on the way," 11 July 2020 In some cases that means running ads on FOX News in Washington, D.C., for no other reason than Trump himself is likely to see it. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Former Michigan GOP party leader among Republicans working hard to defeat Trump," 10 July 2020 For Hargrove, his film is inherently bittersweet, with neither parent alive to see it. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Dallas filmmaker’s ‘Miracle Fishing’ tells an incredible story of his father’s kidnapping," 9 July 2020 But with these women, leaving in the middle of a dumb fight just means that same dumb fight will be picked right back up the next time Denise contractually has to see them again. Jodi Walker,, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: I have other plans: steaks and strippers," 9 July 2020 To walk the concourses of Lynn Family Stadium Sunday evening was to see compliance with every step. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC fans take a solid step toward normalcy with debut of Lynn Family Stadium," 13 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rising-star labels Telfar and Pyer Moss, whose shows have become must-sees, don’t plan to participate in this New York Fashion Week. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "New York Fashion Week Faces Designer Exits, Oscars Competition," 3 Feb. 2020 But American sees enough demand to pick those flights up immediately after JetBlue. Dallas News, "American Airlines asks government for more flights to Cuba," 30 Jan. 2020 In a see-saw game, the Brewers went back on top, 8-7, with four runs in the sixth but Carl Yastrzemski ripped a two-run homer in the seventh off lefty Kevin Kobel and Boston held on for the win. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A recap of all 50 season openers for the Brewers," 25 Mar. 2020 Gaeta Cornejo said of her stores where churros, wedding cookies and other treats are displayed in see-through cases. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Baking in the time of coronavirus: Bread is hot topic at home and away," 16 Apr. 2020 Television and newspaper executives, in town for a look-see, sat down to steaks at downtown chophouses while rookie embed reporters drank at the Mexican dive El Bait Shop. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, "The National Media Mob Descends on Iowa," 3 Feb. 2020 In a late match Monday, No.1-ranked Rafael Nadal won a see-saw match against Nick Kyrgios, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4), to reach the quarterfinals and continue his chase for a record-tying 20th Grand Slam title. John Pye,, "Sofia Kenin stays on roll, advances to Australian Open semis," 27 Jan. 2020 Museums provide a warm and cozy haven, while outdoor sights can be harder to enjoy – frigid weather can drain the fun out of even the Eiffel Tower and other must-sees. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "Why you should visit Europe in winter: Cheaper lodging, holiday markets and no crowds," 11 Dec. 2019 Ten-part series Love is Blind sees singles disconnecting from the outside world and looking for love without ever setting eyes on their potential partners. Essence, "Screen Time: 11 Titles You Can Stream In February," 29 Jan. 2020

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 1c

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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Learn More about see

Time Traveler for see

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for see

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“See.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for see


How to pronounce See (audio)

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


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for see

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with see

Spanish Central: Translation of see

Nglish: Translation of see for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of see for Arabic Speakers

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