un·​see ˌən-ˈsē How to pronounce unsee (audio)
unsaw; unseeing; unsees

transitive verb

: to fail to see (something) : to avoid seeing (something)
Countless people have studied the painting and never seen the hidden likeness in it. Yet, once it comes to your attention, you can't unsee it again.Kenneth Baker
: to forget having seen (something) : to erase the image of (something) from one's memory
Like at the porn expo, you see things at the poker expo you can never unsee.Bill Simmons

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web America can’t unsee January 6. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 5 Feb. 2023 His family will never unsee that. Don Riddell, CNN, 5 Sep. 2020 The glaring lack of diversity in the space was impossible to unsee. Samantha Anderl, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 Although the GOP used to self-identify as the party of law and order, no one outside the Fox bubble can unsee the January 6 zip-tie carrying mob beating federal police officers with flags and metal poles while threatening to hang Mike Pence. Sabrina Haake, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2022 The sight of whites ousted and Asians taking their place was one that colonized people couldn’t easily unsee. Daniel Immerwahr, The Atlantic, 4 Apr. 2022 Now settled in downtown L.A. and clean from drugs for 11 years, War can’t unsee the homeless. Beth Wood Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Aug. 2021 Once the observation is made, unless the behavior has resolved itself, the leader can’t unsee it. Lee Meadows, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Here, again, was doubt offered up as a reason to unsee the obvious. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 26 Feb. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unsee.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unsee was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near unsee

Cite this Entry

“Unsee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsee. Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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