\ 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 To see his crops, visitors are escorted past a door unlocked with a thumbprint and through an airlock. The Economist, "The rise of the rooftop farmer Singapore looks to the skies—for fields," 4 July 2020 When the state started to see a rise in cases again, Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania took steps to ban the sale of alcohol for on-site drinking. Fox News, "How Fourth of July in 2020 will be unlike any other: no beach, no booze, no BBQ," 4 July 2020 No, really Labbe said he's been impressed during his volunteering to see how well agencies, nonprofits and volunteers work together to support hospitals and other COVID relief efforts. Cleo Krejci, The Arizona Republic, "Volunteers help get COVID-19 supplies to Maricopa County hospitals," 4 July 2020 To see younger women doing it so fearlessly is heartening, Burke said. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: By doing her job, and doing it well, NBA broadcaster Doris Burke is Changing the Game," 3 July 2020 Brewers work with the Michigan State University extension system, which sends varieties to see what grows up north — Mackinac, Cascade, Comet, Prussian hops. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Easy-to-miss Mackinaw City brewery's beloved food saved it during coronavirus," 3 July 2020 Australia, Canada, New Zealand were quick to restrict travel, while in other countries including Algeria, Georgia and Morocco, kids were the first to see the impact of the pandemic as schools shut. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "The US, Brazil and others lifted lockdowns early. These charts show just how deadly that decision was," 3 July 2020 America’s sobering reckoning has been laid bare for the world to see — a nation beset by protests and rioting over police abuses, growing inequalities, a pandemic and resurgent white supremacists. Alfredo Corchado, Washington Post, "What’s gone wrong in America? An outsider explains.," 3 July 2020 Anyone who wishes to tune in to see the gorgeous evening sky can tune in via the Discover Los Angeles social channels on Facebook Live, Instagram Live and YouTube. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Los Angeles Will Stream Its Gorgeous Sunset During Fourth of July Weekend," 3 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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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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“See.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 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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