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

Only a few people have been rude and clear-sighted enough to point this out. The Economist, "Boris Johnson’s confusing and contradictory religious history," 27 July 2019 But the standout save of the tournament was made by Chile's Christiane Endler in her country's opening game against Sweden, scooping the ball away from danger after being left un-sighted. SI.com, "Women's World Cup: 90min Awards - Best Goal, Best Save, Breakout Star, Best Kit & More," 8 July 2019 For some reason, sighting him in the wild felt even stranger than riding with him. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, "The Book of Prince," 2 Sep. 2019 In addition to De Rama, Resor and Dill, the team includes Efrain Becerra Jr. and Suzanne Rouland (who is sighted), setting the pace in the front two seats, and competition steersman Rob Octavio. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Local blind paddlers get set for world’s largest outrigger canoe race," 28 Aug. 2019 Also sighted last week were several hundred semipalmated and least sandpipers, as well as 35 seaside sparrows and 48 saltmarsh sparrows which were tallied as part of an official shorebird survey. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings across the region," 11 Aug. 2019 When the researchers placed the caterpillars in boxes containing different colored sticks, about 80% of the larvae, both blinded and sighted, chose to rest on sticks that matched their body color. Lakshmi Supriya, Science | AAAS, "These caterpillars can camouflage themselves, even when blindfolded," 7 Aug. 2019 On July 21, two days after the discovery of Dyck’s body, McLeod and Schmegelsky were sighted in the RAV4 in the town of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, a 1,350-mile drive from Dease Lake. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Canadian tourist murders: Teens tracked east in nationwide manhunt," 25 July 2019 In June 2018, diver Ryan King sighted the wreck of PE-56, off the coast of Portland, Maine. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Sunk in the Final Days of WWII, a U.S. Patrol Boat Is Found Off the Coast of Maine," 23 July 2019

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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