sight

noun
\ ˈsīt How to pronounce sight (audio) \

Definition of sight

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : something that is seen : spectacle
2a : a thing regarded as worth seeing usually used in plural the sights of the city
b : something ludicrous or disorderly in appearance you look a sight
3a chiefly dialectal : a great number or quantity
b : a good deal : lot a far sight better not by a damn sight
4a : the process, power, or function of seeing specifically : the physical sense by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space
b : mental or spiritual perception
c : mental view specifically : judgment
5a : the act of looking at or beholding
c : view, glimpse
d : an observation to determine direction or position (as by a navigator)
6a : a perception of an object by or as if by the eye never lost sight of the objective
b : the range of vision was nowhere in sight
7 : presentation of a note or draft to the maker or draftee : demand
8a : a device that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object
b sights plural : aspiration set her sights on a medical career
in sight
: at or within a reasonable distance or time
on sight
: as soon as seen ordered to shoot on sight
out of sight
1 : beyond comparison
2 : beyond all expectation or reason
3 used as a generalized expression of approval
sight for sore eyes
: one whose appearance or arrival is an occasion for joy or relief

sight

verb
sighted; sighting; sights

Definition of sight (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to get or catch sight of several whales were sighted
2 : to look at through or as if through a sight especially : to test for straightness
3 : to aim by means of sights
4a : to equip with sights
b : to adjust the sights of

intransitive verb

1 : to take aim
2 : to look carefully in a particular direction

sight

adjective

Definition of sight (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : based on recognition or comprehension without previous study sight translation
2 : payable on presentation a sight draft

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Cite, Sight, and Site

The three homophones cite, sight, and site are occasionally confused by some people when used as nouns (sight and site) or as verbs (all three words). They needn’t cause trouble: with a little thought, most people who struggle with them can settle upon the correct choice.

Cite is most often encountered in the sense of “to name in a citation”; it may also mean “to mention as an example” or “to order to appear in a court of law.“

Most of the senses of sight are concerned with the act or action of seeing. A wonderful spectacle might be described as a sight, as might the general capacity to see anything (“my sight is not as good as it once was”).

Site is most often concerned with location; it is related to the verb situate "to locate" and situation "a position." A building site is the place where the building is, or will be, located. In contemporary English, site has increasingly been used as a shortened form of website, for the location of a specific page on the Internet.

If you connect citation with cite, eyesight with sight, and situate with site, you are unlikely to make an error.

Examples of sight in a Sentence

Noun

She regained sight in her left eye. The officers were ordered to shoot on sight. Keep out of sight until I tell you it's OK to come out. The child wandered out of sight. Don't let the puppy out of your sight. The rabbit disappeared from sight into the tall grass. The controls are hidden from sight behind a panel.

Verb

They sighted a ship in the distance. Several bears have been sighted in the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to Tuoi Tre News, local fisherman Tran Minh Thanh sighted the object four miles off the coast of Phu Yen, a province in south central Vietnam. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Vietnamese Fisherman Drags a Chinese Torpedo Back to Shore," 19 Dec. 2018 To put that into context, sighted English readers process an average of 200 to 250 words per minute. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "Could This New Tactile Font Help People Who Lose Their Sight Late In Life?," 1 May 2018 Abloh’s creative inspiration can come from anywhere, because that’s what art is all about, but to appear to not address the very real allegations associated with that inspiration feels short-sighted. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Virgil Abloh Talks About His Michael Jackson Inspiration for Louis Vuitton," 13 Mar. 2019 Kate was very involved in the process, and was often sighted stopping in to local stores in search of the right piece, sometimes alongside another interior designer working on the project, Anne Allen. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Anmer Hall, Prince William and Kate Middleton's Country Home," 23 Dec. 2018 The drones sighted around Gatwick on Thursday appeared intended to interfere with airport operations, in part because of the number of reports stretching over many hours, Mr. Pitsky and other industry officials said. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Mayhem at Gatwick Shows Limits of Drone-Monitoring Efforts," 20 Dec. 2018 But such a conclusion, Adam Tooze argues, is both simplistic and short-sighted. Marc Levinson, WSJ, "‘Crashed’ Review: The Trouble Is Trans-Atlantic," 6 Aug. 2018 Oh, and if sharks have been sighted, stay on the beach. Linda Searing, Washington Post, "The Big Number: 53 shark attacks in U.S. waters," 30 June 2018 Russia’s dreaded nuclear torpedo, designed to nuke entire coastal cities into oblivion and trigger tsunamis, has been sighted in tests at sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s Nuclear Tsunami Apocalypse Torpedo is Named 'Poseidon'," 24 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Officials say the goal is to improve safety by giving drivers more sight distance. Fred Swegles, Orange County Register, "San Clemente news briefs: Free swimming at city pools, I-5 bridge work begins, more," 22 Feb. 2017 Sure, there are parts that stretch credibility (a tiny but apparently evil, rabbit is one), and there are sight jokes galore. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "‘Spamalot’ is an infectious crowd-pleaser at Palo Alto Players," 3 May 2017

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

Noun

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

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sight

Noun

Middle English, from Old English gesiht faculty or act of sight, thing seen; akin to Old High German gisiht sight, Old English sēon to see

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Learn More about sight

Dictionary Entries near sight

sigh

sighful

sighingly

sight

sight board

sighted

sight edge

Statistics for sight

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sight

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

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More Definitions for sight

sight

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the sense through which a person or animal becomes aware of light, color, etc., by using the eyes : the ability to see
: the act of seeing someone or something
: a position in which someone or something can be seen

sight

verb

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

: to see (something or someone that is being looked for or that is rarely seen or difficult to see)

sight

noun
\ ˈsīt How to pronounce sight (audio) \

Kids Definition of sight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the function, process, or power of seeing : the sense by which a person or animal becomes aware of the position, form, and color of objects
2 : the act of seeing It was love at first sight.
3 : something that is seen : spectacle The northern lights were an amazing sight.
4 : something that is worth seeing He showed us the sights of the city.
5 : something that is peculiar, funny, or messy You're a sight!
6 : the presence of an object within the field of vision I can't stand the sight of blood. She caught sight of an eagle.
7 : the distance a person can see A ship came into sight.
8 : a device (as a small metal bead on a gun barrel) that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object

sight

verb
sighted; sighting

Kids Definition of sight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get a look at : see Their dog was sighted in a neighbor's garden.
2 : to look at through or as if through a device that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object

sight

noun
\ ˈsīt How to pronounce sight (audio) \

Medical Definition of sight

1 : something that is seen
2 : the process, power, or function of seeing specifically : the one of the five basic physical senses by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space
3a : a perception of an object by the eye
b : the range of vision

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sight

adjective

Legal Definition of sight

: payable on presentation — see also sight draft at draft

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More from Merriam-Webster on sight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sight

Spanish Central: Translation of sight

Nglish: Translation of sight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sight for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sight

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