Definition of eye in English:



  • 1Each of a pair of globular organs of sight in the head of humans and vertebrate animals.

    ‘my cat is blind in one eye’
    ‘closing her eyes, she tried to relax’
    • ‘Glaucoma is more common in old age, and happens when the optic nerve in the eye is damaged.’
    • ‘Before closing my eyes I catch sight of a notice posted on the dormitory door.’
    • ‘Eight of the eye injuries were caused by the stick, two by body contact, and two from fighting.’
    • ‘They believe the optic nerve in short sighted eyes might be more vulnerable to computer stress.’
    • ‘Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can lead to damage to the eye's optic nerve and result in blindness.’
    • ‘Emergency treatment is required to preserve the sight of the eye.’
    • ‘She is now completely blind in her right eye, her sight will never be restored and she faces a further operation next month.’
    • ‘In addition, damage to retinal layer blood vessels of the eye can result in blindness.’
    • ‘The lens of the human eye is a stiff gel of transparent protein, inside an elastic capsule.’
    • ‘Malignant melanoma can also affect the choroid of the eye, the layer just under the retina.’
    • ‘It would be nice to have all the functionality of the human eye without a blind spot.’
    • ‘This is beyond the capacity of the human eye, which may explain why so many offside decisions are controversial’
    • ‘Hold the mirrors of the homemade apparatus close to the eyes and see the left eye in the right mirror and vice versa.’
    • ‘Kiri is registered blind after inheriting an eye disease from partially sighted Daphne.’
    • ‘It is a disease of small blood vessels in the retina of the eye.’
    • ‘It can result from a variety of diseases, disorders, and injuries that affect the eye.’
    • ‘Glaucoma is a disease in which pressure in the eye slowly damages the optic nerve.’
    • ‘The system's light source is invisible to the human eye, thus increasing operator comfort.’
    • ‘Abnormal copper deposition also occurs in the basal ganglia and eyes.’
    • ‘We learnt about the priorities between getting in the harvest or losing the sight of an eye in the Third World.’
    organ of sight, eyeball
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The visual or light-detecting organ of many invertebrate animals that corresponds to the eye of humans and vertebrate animals.
      • ‘As in all arthropods, the eye surface had to be molted along with the rest of the hard exoskeleton.’
      • ‘We know the first animal to have an eye was a trilobite that was a predator as well.’
      • ‘Daphnia magna has a light-sensitive eye, meaning that the eye will track a moving light source.’
      • ‘The eye of arthropod invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, etc.) is vastly different from the molluscan or vertebrate eye.’
    2. 1.2The region of the face surrounding the eyes.
      ‘her eyes were swollen with crying’
      • ‘Mrs Gilbert said her left eye swelled up and she was in pain after the injection on Tuesday, July 20.’
      • ‘By then tears were already soaking into her skin and her eyes were a bit swollen.’
      • ‘Ethan went wide eyed her left eye swollen and bleeding just above her brow.’
      • ‘She was still trying to hide her face, for her eyes were red and swollen from all the crying.’
      • ‘His lips quivered, and his eyes swelled with tears as he kept them on his fallen mother.’
      • ‘I'd left my hat in Atlanta and one of my eyes was already swelling from the beating.’
      • ‘His shoulder was scratched, his body aches all over and his eyes are slightly swollen.’
      • ‘The combative midfielder had a cut lip and an eye so swollen he could barely see.’
      • ‘By the middle rounds the boxer's punches had opened a cut above his opponent's right eye while his left eye was also swollen.’
      • ‘His eye was so swollen he couldn't open it, and it was all weepy and gross and made me feel sick.’
      • ‘He saw her sitting at her desk with a blank face hands folded on her lap, and her eyes swollen red.’
      • ‘His eyes began to swell, and soon even Dominic had no idea of where he was stumbling.’
      • ‘Her eyes had begun to swell up again, why he was making her cry like this, she didn't know.’
      • ‘Sandrine noticed that the girl's eyes were red and swollen, as if she'd been crying.’
      • ‘My joy died instantly and my smile disappeared as I saw how red and swollen her eyes were.’
      • ‘There was a gash under her left eye that had swollen and bruised her eye.’
      • ‘The children were constantly coughing, had runny noses, and their eyes would swell up.’
      • ‘On another occasion, when I looked into the mirror, my right eye was swollen shut.’
      • ‘The first thing she thought of was whether her eyes were red or swollen from crying last night.’
      • ‘He suffered a fractured nose, fractured cheekbone, swelling to his right eye and he had to get stitches to his inner lip.’
    3. 1.3Used to refer to someone's power of vision and in descriptions of the direction of someone's gaze.
      ‘his sharp eyes had missed nothing’
      • ‘When he is onscreen, your eye stays with him, oblivious to the mise en scene.’
      • ‘Pockets that tilt slightly inward are good, since they draw the eye toward the center.’
      • ‘The secret appears to be: keep costs low, have cred and employ editors with wit and sharp eyes.’
      • ‘Tearing my eyes away from this vision of male pulchritude, I notice yet another Gable.’
      • ‘We avert our collective eyes as we pass by the gentlemen and ladies of the road and each time we do it we create ghosts to people the shadows of our world.’
      • ‘With an intense eye, he gazes like a spirit guardian, across the valley to the ruins of Runku Raqay, an old Inca outpost.’
      • ‘The caisson is made of wood, but looks so shinny and smooth to the untrained eye it looks like metal.’
      • ‘Aaron had fixed his eyes on my position, though I doubt he could see me in the darkness.’
      • ‘Even a Reading shopping centre can hold the eye when its glass facade and the canal's surface mirror each other.’
      • ‘Her piercing grey eyes darted about the room, still in search for a seat.’
      • ‘Bless our eyes with vision, that we may see our lives and the life that you give us.’
      • ‘He sees himself as a more defensive type, but he has vision and a good eye for goal.’
      • ‘Even a lowly salad fork that needs lining up does not escape David's sharp eye.’
      • ‘Drivers should have their eyes on the road and be on the lookout for pedestrians and other road users and not be distracted by these signs.’
      • ‘She was examining the peaches carefully, one eye for a good peach, the other on the bad daughter.’
      • ‘As she leafs through the yellow pages, my eyes try in vain to grab a word or two from the looped, fastidious handwriting.’
      • ‘A mix of glossy and matte leaves and angular and round flower heads will keep the eye moving.’
      • ‘Stevens' vision caught their collective eye, and he was named a semi-finalist in July.’
      • ‘Not just the desecrated bodies of the dead, but the shattered lives of those who knew and loved them are thrust into the merciless gaze of the public eye.’
      • ‘There will be eager eyes to spot the errant hen's nests and collect the eggs as well as help with the usual chores.’
      eyesight, vision, sight, power of sight, faculty of sight, ability to see, power of seeing, powers of observation, observation, perception, visual perception
      watch, observance, lookout, gaze, stare, regard
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    4. 1.4Used to refer to someone's opinion or attitude towards something.
      ‘in the eyes of his younger colleagues, Mr Arnett was an eccentric’
      ‘to European eyes, it may seem that the city is overcrowded’
      • ‘I share Mr Clarke's concern that the opinion of the electorate counts for nothing in the eyes of the elected.’
      • ‘This drama, seen through the eyes of a child, gives the children's programme an opportunity to explore some of the emotions and issues foot and mouth has raised.’
      • ‘Travellers were left feeling important in the eyes of our national carrier.’
      • ‘Secondly, how would a customer be viewed in the eyes of the public?’
      • ‘He seems to think that the media have reached a new low in the eyes of the public.’
      • ‘He sees this world through the eyes of a scientist.’
      • ‘When I went to interview him three years ago, he was, in the eyes of the outside world, a remote and beleaguered figure.’
      • ‘It needs to enjoy strong authority in the eyes of both political players and the public.’
      • ‘I have the experience but that stands for nothing in the eyes of the law.’
      • ‘The problem is what both of you stand for in the eyes of the vast majority of veterans.’
      • ‘German law decreed that as soon as you crossed the border you lost your nationality, but in the eyes of the British he was still a German.’
      • ‘For it is in the essence of his behaviour that he should be eccentric, unconventional and rash in the eyes of public opinion.’
      • ‘Again, political reporting becomes political reality in the eyes of the public.’
      • ‘It has therefore been relatively easy to depict the exhibition through the eyes of Cole.’
      • ‘Such attempts at manipulating the news have already backfired in the eyes of the public.’
      • ‘The problem is that today the credibility of the criminal justice system is very low in the eyes of the public.’
      • ‘Never before have the ruling autocrats been as naked in the eyes of their publics as they are now.’
      • ‘In the eyes of the public, they only care for the votes and they have their own ambitions and prejudice.’
      • ‘The council is also fighting to improve its standing in the eyes of its official assessors.’
      • ‘Internal working models of the self are opinions about how one is viewed in the eyes of others.’
      • ‘I chose to tell the story through the eyes of an impressionable outsider.’
      • ‘How could I tell him all of this without losing even more standing in the eyes of my father?’
      • ‘We can never see her except through the eyes of the white men who described her.’
      opinion, thinking, way of thinking, mind, view, viewpoint, point of view, attitude, stance, stand, standpoint, position, perspective, belief, contention, conviction, judgement, assessment, analysis, evaluation, gauging, rating, appraisal, estimation, estimate
      View synonyms
  • 2A thing resembling an eye in appearance, shape, or relative position, in particular.

    • ‘Slide bead over the hook barb leaving it resting against the eye of the hook.’
    • ‘Place a length of nylon in the path of the whipping silk so that the loop is facing the eye in the ring.’
    • ‘Position and glue eyes into place behind the windows in each of the copper shapes.’
    • ‘Take the silk back up the shank until you are a couple of millimetres behind the eye of the hook.’
    • ‘Now simply attach the lower hook by passing the loop through the eye and bring back underneath the hook and tighten.’
    • ‘In that box are six infrared eyes logging the position of your features so it can build up a picture of your mug.’
    • ‘The eye of the lens stays with the girl as she becomes aware of another behind her, a presence.’
    • ‘All I do is reverse the direction of the hair, so that it faces up towards the eye of the hook.’
    • ‘On a size ten hook, like the one that I have used, that will be about 5mm behind the eye of the hook.’
    • ‘Wind on the black chenille and tie off leaving plenty of room near the hook eye.’
    • ‘Although if that's a single eye in the centre pyramid of the crown it may be a few other things…’
    • ‘Wind the wool back to the hook bend and then back up to behind the hook eye.’
    • ‘The muppet was then slid down to the eye of the hook so that it formed a skirt around the top of the squid bait.’
    1. 2.1A rounded eye-like marking on an animal, such as those on the tail of a peacock; an eyespot.
      • ‘It is pleased when others look at the eyes on its tail feathers; it pulls them all together in a cluster for this purpose.’
      • ‘Chestnut eyes spotted her trademark wings and he carefully made his way over to her.’
      • ‘The train feathers have a series of eyes that are best seen when the tail is fanned.’
    2. 2.2A round, dark spot on a potato from which a new shoot can grow.
      ‘withered potatoes sprouting at the eyes’
      • ‘However, as we've just said, roots don't have buds, and that's exactly what you see sprouting on the potato, arising from the potato's eyes.’
      • ‘The eyes and even sprouting potatoes are safe to use but they may not keep well.’
    3. 2.3The centre of a flower, especially when distinctively coloured.
      ‘delicate flowers of light blue colour, with white or yellow eyes’
      • ‘Each flower eye has expanded to the familiar pineapple-like criss-cross pattern.’
      • ‘As he stared into the eyes of the flower bud, memories began to flood within his own.’
      • ‘Each eye forms a cluster of roots, and furnishes a very fine stock, which is taken up after winter.’
    4. 2.4The calm region at the centre of a storm or hurricane.
      ‘the smaller the eye, the more intense the winds’
      • ‘Only an aircraft flying right into the eye of the hurricane can accurately obtain the data.’
      • ‘The eye of the storm is expected to hit Puerto Rico later today.’
      • ‘Why can't we come up with solutions to try and disrupt the eye of the hurricane somehow?’
      • ‘Today, the eye of the hurricane came just south of Orlando, Florida, bringing high winds and very heavy rains to that tourist city.’
      • ‘As the eye of the hurricane moved over, the wind picked up again, rising rapidly from the south-east.’
      • ‘The eye of the storm was officially recorded as striking the tiny town of Buras, about 40 miles south-east of New Orleans, with 145 mph winds at daybreak.’
      • ‘Because forecasters always try to pinpoint the eye of the hurricane, this knowledge will help with locating the exact position and lead to better tracking.’
      • ‘Silver iodide flares would be dropped into the eye of the hurricane.’
      • ‘We don't pre-position at the eye of the hurricane.’
      • ‘I am on the Malecon, Havana's seaside drive, where it is getting very windy, but the eye of the hurricane has already hit land.’
      • ‘You can see very distinctly on the satellite picture the eye of the hurricane right there as it continues to move very close now to the coast.’
      • ‘The eye of the storm is now about 460 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana.’
      • ‘This is fairly far north of where the eye of the hurricane is going to hit but just five minutes ago I measured the winds that we're getting here.’
      • ‘While the eye of the hurricane didn't cross Jamaica, the extensive rain caused widespread flooding, especially in the hillier regions.’
      • ‘You can see, as we move in a little bit closer, you can now see the eye of the hurricane.’
      • ‘But we were in the eye of the hurricane all the way across.’
      • ‘The eye of the storm is always said to be a place of calm.’
      • ‘In this context, summer can seem merely like the brief and insignificant calm in the eye of the hurricane.’
      • ‘That's on these outer rain bands, well in advance of the eye of the hurricane.’
      • ‘And in the course of the afternoon, meteorologists tell us the eye of the hurricane will start to pass over this island itself.’
      centre, middle, nucleus, heart, core, hub, pivot, kernel, bosom, interior, depths, thick
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    5. 2.5Nautical The extreme forward part of a ship.
      ‘it was hanging in the eyes of the ship’
      • ‘Passengers are normally allowed into the "eyes" of the ship and this will give you an unrestricted view ahead.’
      • ‘Access to the quarters below was down a cuddy or slide just forward of the foremast, the crew's quarters being forward in the eyes of the ship.’
  • 3The small hole in a needle through which the thread is passed.

    ‘strands of glass tiny enough to pass through the eye of a needle’
    • ‘A slot on one side allows the thread to slide into the eye of this general-purpose needle.’
    • ‘That's when I looked at the top point of a star and realized that a tiny hole, barely larger then the eye of a needle, had been placed in it.’
    • ‘Madame Turrie gabbed a needle and black thread and quickly put the thread in the needle eye.’
    • ‘Passes were threaded together and some of them would have gone through the eye of a needle.’
    • ‘The scarf's purpose is to allow the bobbin case hook to get close to the needle eye and catch the thread to form a stitch.’
    • ‘An army of tiny red eyes met him, none larger than the eye of a needle.’
    • ‘Use a good thread and make sure the needle eye is large enough for the thread type.’
    • ‘If the eye of the needle is too small for the thread to pass through, the thread will shred.’
    hole, opening, aperture, eyelet, gap, slit, slot, crevice, chink, crack, perforation, interstice
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    1. 3.1A small metal loop into which a hook is fitted as a fastener on a garment.
      • ‘The need to match hook size to line diameter is less of a problem with eyes hooks as the knot has more metal to stop it coming loose.’
      • ‘Secondly, the hook can be fastened with a loop so that the lask end of the strip can be trapped against the eye of the hook with the loop.’
      • ‘They were fastened down the front with buttons or with or with hooks and eyes.’
    2. 3.2Nautical A loop at the end of a rope, especially one at the top end of a shroud or stay.
      • ‘Having a permanently fixed loop (eye splice) on a rope-end removes the need to tie and then untie a knot each time you wish to use it.’
      • ‘This can be used to clear clogged hook eyes, bad casting knots and back lashes.’
      • ‘Rope splicing is a very strong method of fixing a loop eye or joining two ends together.’
      • ‘The double overhand knot is tied through the eye of the hook and of the swivel, then secured with either a single or double crimp.’
  • 4South African The source of a spring or river.

    • ‘Later that year, after an earthquake, a new spring eye burst open, bringing to the surface fossils and stone tools.’
    • ‘This is one of many river eyes in the area.’
    spring, origin, head, well head, headspring
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  • 1 Look at closely or with interest.

    ‘Rose eyed him warily’
    • ‘I kept eying him wearily… checking to make sure that his temper was in check.’
    • ‘Natalie eyed her warily, unsure if she was joking or actually being serious.’
    • ‘Selby are eying the chance of ending York's 13-year stranglehold on the local game when the two sides meet next Saturday.’
    • ‘Certainly, there are a couple of England players who may be eyeing that announcement with some uncertainty.’
    • ‘My eyes fell upon my cat which was still eyeing my brother with the utmost interest.’
    • ‘Apart from Yusril, several cabinet ministers and the vice president are currently eying the presidency.’
    • ‘She tidies my hospital room, eying me with nervous pity.’
    • ‘Still, he looked like he would be nice enough, even with the way he was eying her warily.’
    • ‘My mother appeared in the doorway, calm and collected as usual, except she was impatiently eying my clock.’
    • ‘Guns make me very nervous and I'd stand brewing the tea and eying the gun over the cupboard warily.’
    • ‘She glanced down, eying the boy standing below very carefully.’
    • ‘The tender stood there polishing a unique-looking shot glass, eying the newcomers closely.’
    • ‘Actually, I considered, eying the many stains on the carpet from carelessly spilt beer, it was little wonder.’
    • ‘Trevor and I spread out while Mark leaned against the tree, eying us warily.’
    • ‘They both stood silent then, eying each other warily.’
    • ‘Investigators say he was also eying Heathrow Airport in London.’
    • ‘After eying them closely from the distance, they began to approach closer.’
    • ‘Stewart, Katie's cat, sat watching the game, eying the soldiers.’
    • ‘She kept eying the rear view mirror where she had a good look at Chris, losing to himself in a thumb war.’
    • ‘As it poured incessantly out of him, he noticed a bull across the field eyeing him interestingly.’
    ogle, leer at, stare at, gaze at, make eyes at, make sheep's eyes at
    look at, see, observe, view, gaze at, gaze upon, stare at, scan, regard, contemplate, survey, inspect, examine, scrutinize, study, consider, glance at, take a glance at
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    1. 1.1informal Look at someone in a way that reveals a particular, especially sexual, interest.
      ‘Margot saw the women eyeing up her boyfriend’
      • ‘Andrea M and Caroline claim that Cliffie was eyeing me up.’
      • ‘I watched as he took a step back and began eying me up.’
      • ‘The couple were eyeing me up, wondering whether I was a fellow Brit, but I didn't want to get involved.’
      • ‘I paused to watch, and a few minutes later, several monkeys emerged from the dense forest and came to sit on a piece of dead wood jutting into the water, eyeing me up inquisitively.’
      • ‘But inside I spotted a woman eyeing me up and we ended up in a clinch as my husband watched.’
      • ‘That means they are eyeing you up for credit value before naming their price.’
      • ‘One of the captains looked sharply at him, eyeing him up.’
      • ‘But these two guys on motorbikes were eyeing us up and the next thing we knew they were off their bikes and started slashing us.’
      • ‘So when this outgoing, funny, handsome man from the New York office joined our department briefly, I eyed him up with some interest.’
      • ‘I was there one night with my friend Tracy, we were a bit of an icon in those days, and Dave and his mate were eyeing us up, but we both fancied his friend.’
      ogle, leer at, stare at, gaze at, make eyes at, make sheep's eyes at
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  • all eyes are on ——

    • Used to convey that a particular person or thing is currently the focus of public interest.

      ‘over the next few weeks all eyes will be on the pound’
      • ‘Eventually a young woman, all eyes on her, reaches into her bag, mortified.’
      • ‘Goals are vital and strikers like her are the premium currency, with all eyes focused on them after a successful foray.’
      • ‘As the lights go up on this performance all eyes are focused on how the main players have aged.’
      • ‘Now, he's in the final again and no matter what the semi-final scores say, all eyes are on the Ashanti.’
      • ‘My wife, mortified, tried to square her shoulders as all eyes dropped to her chest.’
      • ‘He looked at the group of people sitting down and soon all eyes were focused on the ground.’
      • ‘The next few weeks and months will be interesting as all eyes will be on the Irish.’
      • ‘Mirwaiz said all eyes are now focused on the unity moves and people are keenly watching the developments.’
      • ‘Dinner in the St. Petersburg Hotel's large restaurant came to a halt as all eyes focused on the television.’
      • ‘Whatever the explanation, we can see that all eyes are on Clooney.’
  • be all eyes

    • Be watching eagerly and attentively.

      • ‘O'Neill was going for back to back wins but it was all eyes on lane 6 Misty Hymen the American lead the whole way and the Aussie girls couldn't catch her.’
      • ‘‘This time we even noticed Philip who looked like he'd just come out of a bath… before we must have been all eyes for the Queen‘. he wrote.’’
      • ‘Emily suddenly noticed that all the men doing construction were all eyes on the scene.’
      • ‘There were also many other performance and visual artists as well as film and video, I was all eyes and ears.’
      • ‘Trotting alongside her mother as a youngster whenever she was at her mother's office, Aleksandra was all eyes for the designs, colours and materials.’
      • ‘I was all eyes and ears to know what was going on and sat on a log at the side of the house while Rasmason told Hedge he wanted to trade the gelding he was driving for the black mare he had seen Hedge driving the day before.’
  • before (or in front of or under) one's (very) eyes

    • Right in front of one (used for emphasis)

      ‘he saw his life's work destroyed before his very eyes’
      • ‘And the elderly grandparents carry the images of that van flying into their front yard and of their grandson dying before their eyes.’
      • ‘There has never been a day quite like September 11, a day on which history ran before our eyes, recorded live for the television.’
      • ‘He may well be right, but the perceived notion that Beattie is a restricted footballer, useful only as a target man seems to me to ignore the physical evidence in front of one's eyes.’
      • ‘Then it was like in the movies when people's lives passed in front of their eyes.’
      • ‘I've been hooked to my TV set over the last ten days, eagerly awaiting the latest developments happening live before my very eyes.’
      • ‘Then before his very eyes, the seemingly solid wall in front of him opened.’
      • ‘Then she climbed up to the top of my head and lay sprawled there, her chin on my forehead and front paws hanging in front of my eyes.’
      • ‘Lansye were so old that most of them had seen at least several generations live and die before their eyes.’
      • ‘Morris always wanted people to recognise that Carnival design was an art - to accept the spectacle in front of their eyes as a genuine, living artistic achievement.’
      • ‘In the business, it's called rolling news - live footage of a breaking story that unspools before our very eyes.’
      in person, before one's eyes, in front of one, before one's very eyes, in one's presence
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  • cannot take one's eyes off

    • Be unable to stop looking at someone or something because they are so interesting, attractive, etc.

      ‘I'm telling you, I couldn't take my eyes off him’
      • ‘People can't take their eyes off them.’
      • ‘Carlos has incredible charisma onstage; you can't take your eyes off him.’
      • ‘Nestling comfortably in their little cardboard cellophane-wrapped homes, they're like an accident you can't take your eyes off.’
      • ‘You really can't take your eyes off him for a second.’
      • ‘To be honest, I can't take my eyes off of you.’
      • ‘It's like… like I can't take my eyes off the thing.’
      • ‘The batsman cannot take his eyes off the slow stride to the crease, the spectator holds his breath.’
      • ‘You cannot bear to look at the bird, and yet you cannot take your eyes off it.’
      • ‘The best review I ever got read, "You can't take your eyes off the screen."’
      • ‘Believe me, whenever there is action they are not talking so much that you can't take your eyes off the subtitles.’
  • clap (or lay or set) eyes on

    • informal See.

      ‘I'd never clapped eyes on the guy before’
      • ‘However, the event was a great way of seeing some beautiful parts of the Fukui that most of us had never laid eyes on, and a good time was most definitely had by all.’
      • ‘His crispy skin duck recipe is made from his own beef stock in the largest pot Trevor Jackson has ever laid eyes on!’
      • ‘As they pulled out, families rushed to the border fence to see relatives they had not set eyes on since 1948.’
      • ‘It was the most amazing sight Meg had ever laid eyes on.’
      • ‘He managed to arrange a meeting with Emilia and in 1907 returned to Ilkley to propose to her near the spot he had first laid eyes on her.’
      • ‘Could this be the Ulster I last laid eyes on thirty years ago?’
      • ‘The minute she met him, she says, she thought he was the sexiest human being she had ever clapped eyes on.’
      • ‘Perhaps he was surveying the landscape, one that he had never laid eyes on before.’
      • ‘At this point in my lesson I had not set eyes on as much as a rotor, and did not fully comprehend where my instructor was coming from, but it wasn't long before the penny began to drop.’
      • ‘But it was also a time when Shane first clapped eyes on what he now calls ‘the love of his life’.’
      see, spot, observe, regard, notice, catch sight of, view, perceive, discern, spy
      clap eyes on, set eyes on, clock
      behold, espy, descry
      see, observe, notice, spot, sight, have sight of, spy, catch sight of, glimpse, catch a glimpse of, get a glimpse of, make out, discern, perceive, pick out, detect
      behold, espy, descry
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  • close (or shut) one's eyes to

    • Refuse to acknowledge (something unpleasant)

      ‘he couldn't close his eyes to the truth—he had cancer’
      • ‘When you seem to be closing your eyes to 99% of the world, why should we listen to have to say about politics?’
      • ‘But signs of it exist and it would be foolish to close your eyes to that.’
      • ‘Then I could so easily close my eyes to all that is happening around me and my family, roll over and fall into a deep sound sleep.’
      • ‘What a pity that so many writers who, in other circumstances, are optimists about human progress, should shut their eyes to what is happening.’
      • ‘But the mere fact that she shut her eyes to what you regard as the obvious is not enough.’
      • ‘Once you close your eyes to what the other half is saying, you're half blind.’
      • ‘The trouble with the Bahamas, is that once you are on the limestone rock, it seductively closes your eyes to what can be, as it tries to engulf in its own slow rhythms.’
      • ‘We will close our eyes to what has happened in the past, because we will make peace and togetherness a pattern of our lives,’ he said.’
      • ‘If we refuse than God closes his eyes to us forever.’
      • ‘If that does not come to be and we stay at Bootham Crescent then great but I have to close my eyes to that.’
      disregard, ignore, dismiss, shrug off, pass over, put aside, sweep aside, wave aside
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  • an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

    • Used to refer to the belief that retaliation in kind is the appropriate way to deal with an offence or crime.

      ‘other people took his wife, he took the wives of others—it was an eye for an eye’
      • ‘His laws were very cruel and were based on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
      • ‘But before we get carried away with such ideas, it is worth remembering that, in the Bible, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was really not about retribution; it was about restoration.’
      • ‘Revenge should never play a part in a modern justice system, I am hoping that we as a race are beyond that by now, that we have grown up a little since the Bible days of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
      • ‘‘‘If we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless.’’
  • the eye of the wind

    • The direction from which the wind is blowing.

      ‘he swung the boat into the eye of the wind’
      ‘a heading of up to 75° from the wind's eye’
      • ‘It will be a TACK if you turn the bow of the boat through the eye of the wind, and it will be a JIBE if you turn the stern through the eye of the wind.’
      • ‘Tacking means that you turn the boat into the wind, or the bow through the eye of the wind.’
      • ‘Now pull yourself and the mast dramatically - say, 30 degrees - into the eye of the wind, swinging the sail up and over your head, and grabbing the boom just near sailing position with your hands shoulder-width apart.’
      • ‘The conversion into the eye of the wind from wide out was converted by Bernard Robinson.’
  • eyes front (or left or right)

    • A military command to turn the head in the direction stated.

      ‘‘Eyes front!’ he screamed at the men before him’
      • ‘‘They come marching by and one kid looks at me, at eyes right, pouring rain, and he looked at me dead in the eye and he winked at me,’ Matthews said.’
      • ‘Col. Montee ran down his wish list, while the Lieutenant opted out of politeness to look at the floor, then the ceiling, and finally eyes front on the Colonel.’
      • ‘Air Commodore Graham Bentley receives an eyes right during the march off at the Surveillance and Control Training Unit's fifth anniversary parade at RAAF Base Williamtown.’
      • ‘The officer gave them eyes right, which meant I had to hold a salute.’
      • ‘Come along children, eyes front, quick march.’
  • eyes out

    • informal As fast or as hard as possible.

      ‘the whole team went eyes out from the start’
      ‘If you're going eyes out, watch out for those struggling to keep the pace’
      • ‘It was a case of going eyes out from start to finish and may the best horse win.’
      • ‘I had often watched the pair going eyes out across-country.’
      • ‘It was nothing to see three of them on the one horse going eyes out up the road.’
      • ‘The city is going eyes out to provide sites for industry.’
      • ‘We were going "eyes out", all three shoulder to shoulder.’
  • eyes out on stalks

    • Used to emphasize the extreme degree of someone's eager curiosity.

      ‘when I read about his arrest my eyes popped out on stalks’
      • ‘I felt like my eyes were out on stalks.’
      • ‘I never expected such a big man to move so quickly, and I must have looked a sight with my jaw on the ground and my eyes out on stalks.’
  • a ——'s-eye view

    • A view from the position or standpoint of a ——

      ‘seeing a story from a child's-eye view’
      • ‘Our position immediately above Jubilee Square gives a bird's eye view of the yacht basin, the naval activity and panoramic views across False Bay.’
      • ‘This gives a bird's eye view of the city and the county of North Yorkshire.’
  • for your (or his, her, etc.) eyes only

    • Intended to be seen by a particular person or group of people only; confidential.

      ‘a secret coded message for your eyes only’
      • ‘The public defender's information is for their eyes only.’
      • ‘He acts as if my original piece was for his eyes only.’
      • ‘Only you should be able to decrypt data intended for your eyes only.’
      • ‘The manager wrote a "for your eyes only" letter to the mayor.’
      • ‘The computers and servers in which I store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment and are password protected for my eyes only.’
      • ‘The other universities provide their doctoral examining criteria in the form of a pro forma for examiners' eyes only.’
      • ‘She wished she could write for her eyes only for the rest of her life.’
  • get (or keep) one's eye in

    • Become (or remain) able to make good judgements about a task or activity in which one is engaged.

      ‘I've got my eye in now; I'm landing them just where I want them’
      • ‘It's pleasing because being the overseas player it normally takes a while to settle in and get your eye in, but this season I have settled well and feel that I am fitter and quicker than this time last year.’
      • ‘He's not got his eye in tonight though - that was nowhere near.’
      • ‘A batsman can never really get his eye in on such pitches, and there is always the chance of a mean delivery springing up suddenly.’
      • ‘Once you get your eye in, there's no stopping you.’
      • ‘It's nice to feel wanted by a club, it gets my eye in playing again and I intend to make the most of it.’
      • ‘Once he got his eye in, he rarely put a foot wrong and got his hands working well, the top hand always in control.’
      • ‘So when I took the floor at the social club on Monday night, I needed a couple of ranging shots to get my eye in.’
      • ‘However, on this occasion he couldn't get his eye in and he fell attempting to hook a Symonds short ball over midwicket.’
      • ‘I'm pretty competitive at whatever sport I am doing and playing for Ovington has got me back involved in the game and I guess I have just got my eye in.’
      • ‘It's a bit like golf in that it's important to keep your eye in.’
  • give someone the eye

    • informal Look at someone with clear sexual interest.

      ‘this blonde was giving me the eye’
      • ‘And if he wasn't doing that, he was giving her the eye whenever possible.’
      • ‘That moment, Jared walked by, giving Tina the eye.’
      • ‘Anyway, we were sitting there and I could see this young girl giving me the eye.’
      • ‘I consoled him and over his shoulder I saw the girl giving me the eye.’
      • ‘Then giving Miles the eye, she added, in a voice that purred - ‘I don't know how I will ever be able to repay you.‘’
      • ‘And I've noticed Nelson's been giving me the eye, if you know what I mean.’
      • ‘Even if they're not checking you out and drooling for you, what harm does it do to feel confident and think they're giving you the eye?’
      • ‘Back upstairs, all those chicks were giving me the eye now, too.’
      • ‘Through his mirrored sunglasses Michel could see all the girls giving him the eye.’
      • ‘I just met this guy who seems to be really nice, and seems to be giving me the eye.’
  • half an eye

    • Used in reference to a slight degree of perception or attention.

      ‘he kept half an eye on the house as he worked’
      • ‘He is undoubtedly his own person and he vigorously pursues his own distinctive campaigns with flair and more than half an eye for the media coverage.’
      • ‘Anyone who keeps even a half an eye on the supercomputing scene is probably well puzzled by the idea that even more federal handouts need to go the likes of Cray and IBM.’
      • ‘So, once you've chosen your shrubs with half an eye on the living room, and spent a week or two's rent on bulbs, what next?’
      • ‘By then, I'd also discovered that, in the process of trying to restore the default settings on my digital camera while keeping half an eye on my oldest daughter, I instead erased the memory card, and all photos of the pumpkin patch.’
      • ‘Greece, like Spain, has to have half an eye on the weather when organising its school year.’
      • ‘I had only half an eye on what was happening, however.’
      • ‘He looks at them with half an eye, while flicking between the six or seven collapsed documents on his computer screen.’
      • ‘So I'm still keeping half an eye out for nice apartments downtown.’
      • ‘I spent most of the afternoon sitting on the grass, with half an eye on the big screen, and in between reading and chatting to people around me.’
      • ‘Your man Henry had more than half an eye on his future employment when he sat down with the selectors.’
  • have an eye for

    • Be able to recognize, appreciate, and make good judgements about.

      ‘applicants should have an eye for detail’
      • ‘Towers is a former pitcher and has an eye for what goes into a delivery.’
      • ‘‘People think a low-cost airline is for poor people, but it isn't; it's for people who have an eye for competitive prices,’ he says.’
      • ‘Each day, the chef selects several different local species, having an eye for those that are less well known.’
      • ‘With that instruction and 18 years of experience, Curran said she now has an eye for what will work.’
      • ‘The ideal candidate will have an eye for detail, be able to work independently and as part of a team and most importantly - have a passion for games!’
      • ‘O'Malley's is a grand watering-hole and the management have an eye for what will keep their pub popular.’
      • ‘Music and film are so linked to the fashion world, and you have to have an eye for what's happening next.’
      • ‘Sandy didn't have an eye for a player, that's the way it worked out.’
      • ‘Many others certainly don't see it that way and are adamant that the late politician was largely to blame for having an eye for the vision but scant regard for the detail.’
      • ‘But they have an eye for what is hot and what is not.’
      appreciation, awareness, alertness, perception, discernment, discrimination, taste, judgement, recognition, consciousness, knowledge, understanding, comprehension, cognizance, feeling, sensitivity, instinct, intuition, nose
      View synonyms
  • have (or keep) one's eye on

    • 1Keep under careful observation.

      ‘I've got my eye on you—any nonsense and you're for it!’
      • ‘And we know you keep your eye on that very carefully.’
      • ‘According to Rutherford, the team had its eye on young center Matthew Stajan in the second round.’
      • ‘Others saying that it felt good to be home, but they're keeping a very watchful eye on Rita.’
      1. 1.1Hope or plan to acquire.
        ‘there was a vacant bishopric which the Dean had his eye on’
        • ‘So, with such an array of films on offer, is there anything in particular that the event's director has his eye on?’
        • ‘‘If I can do the next two film scripts then I can afford to do the two theatre commissions that I have my eye on,’ he says.’
        • ‘That goal took Duff's tally for the season to four and he now has his eye on more between now and the end of the season.’
        • ‘Men, don't fear that cute little genius you have your eye on.’
        • ‘Beck had his eye on the site for years before acquiring it in 1999.’
        • ‘I'm on a retail roll, and there's this tasteful rugby top I have my eye on.’
        • ‘The name Cottage doesn't do justice to the house Keane has his eye on.’
        • ‘As for having my eye on ‘the main career chance’, I'm a freelancer, Jack.’
        • ‘With this in mind, Mr Brown will have his eye on making a big splash, hoping to follow up his speech with well-aimed and well-received tax incentives.’
        • ‘I'm fascinated to watch yet I get sad whenever he scoots over to something he has his eye on.’
  • have (or with) an eye to

    • 1Have (or having) as one's objective.

      ‘with an eye to transatlantic business, he made a deal in New York’
      • ‘Yet another thing of value was that the journal helped in dealing with as important a task as training students with an eye to prospects of progress in military affairs.’
      • ‘With an eye to commercial avenues this course adopts a broad definition of illustration and provides a dynamic environment for the development of visual articulation, rooted in a multifaceted curriculum.’
      • ‘The database company continues a multiyear, multibillion-dollar acquisition binge with an eye to dominating the enterprise application landscape.’
      • ‘Some speculate that the US would go along with such a plan, with an eye to securing good deals for US oil companies in the aftermath and as a way of blocking other groups' ambitions.’
      • ‘Even more significantly, the president has shown a clear will and intent to deal with some big issues with an eye to the long term, rather than just whatever will get him the easiest path through the next news cycle.’
      1. 1.1Consider (or be considering) prudently.
        ‘the charity must have an eye to the future’
        • ‘This imperative must have an eye to the long term as well as the intermediate requirements of a wounded nation.’
        • ‘Businesses with an eye to the future must recognise the needs and the purchasing power of disabled and elderly customers.’
        • ‘An investigation must follow, with an eye to eventual trials of those responsible.’
        • ‘I must also have an eye to the levels of compensation awarded in personal injury claims.’
        • ‘Worker compensation insurance must be reviewed, with an eye to reducing risk of injury or harm while on the job.’
        • ‘He feels that for retirement education to be relevant it must address current issues with an eye to future changes.’
        • ‘It must draft its proposals with an eye to what will play in Parliament, as well as in the Council.’
        • ‘But I would caution that any Anglican province that comes into being on these shores must do so with an eye to the larger mission of God.’
        • ‘You must plant with an eye to how the flowers will look when they bloom.’
        • ‘However, with an eye to the Protocol, the context must next be considered.’
        consider, take into account, take into consideration, have regard to, respect, have an eye to
        View synonyms
  • have (or with) an eye to (or for or on) the main chance

    • Look or be looking for an opportunity to take advantage of a situation for personal gain.

      ‘a developer with an eye on the main chance’
      • ‘This is exactly the problem with people who always have an eye to the main chance.’
      • ‘But like their fathers and grandfathers before them, the modern day provos were always ones with an eye to the main chance.’
      • ‘So was Pultizer just another savvy, opportunistic American businessman with an eye on the main chance?’
      • ‘By the end of the year, McAlpine, a softly spoken Scot with an eye for the main chance, will have conquered the toughest city on earth and the toughest business in town - the movies.’
      • ‘Always with an eye for the main chance, especially in agricultural commerce, Haraszthy initiated the first steamboat service on the Wisconsin and upper Mississippi rivers.’
      • ‘It seems the Libs turned down the opportunity to tag along, but the Nats, always with an eye on the main chance, took up their position with considerable enthusiasm.’
      • ‘They have an eye for the main chance like no political machine in the history of the world.’
      • ‘Rodney's peasants were altogether more feisty: often badly behaved, with an eye to the main chance, but also loyal to one another, and doggedly opposed to external oppressors.’
      • ‘Fast, elusive and with an eye for the main chance, O'Driscoll was the best back on display.’
      • ‘But it had, in community councillor Roy Surplice, a man with an eye for the main chance.’
  • have eyes bigger than one's stomach (or belly)

    • Have asked for or taken more food than one can actually eat.

      • ‘Could you imagine the waitress as she comes over to take your order and you have eyes bigger than your stomach?’
      • ‘There's too much wastage. People have eyes bigger than their stomachs.’
  • (only) have eyes for

    • Be (exclusively) interested in or attracted to.

      ‘he has eyes for no one but you’
      • ‘The woman replies, ‘That will be okay because I will be the most beautiful woman and he will only have eyes for me.’’
      • ‘Sure, you'll probably run into that person you have eyes for outside their house, but you have no reason to be there, you sociopath.’
      • ‘Antony, with his dirty blonde hair, green eyes and his fiery temper could have had any girl he wanted, but he had eyes for only one, his on-off girlfriend Daisy.’
      • ‘Is it fair for the logo to get bashed just because some people don't understand and only have eyes for the price?’
      • ‘But when I am out and about with my partner, I only have eyes for him.’
      • ‘In fact, I think she takes it really hard that I don't only have eyes for her.’
      • ‘I admit he's attractive, BUT I only have eyes for Zack.’
      • ‘But the world, it seems, has eyes for only one Australian swim star.’
      • ‘Lula definitely has eyes for reform of the UN Security Council.’
      • ‘Their brother, Bruno, is the complete opposite, so they complain I only have eyes for him.’
      be attracted to, find attractive, be captivated by, be infatuated with, be taken with, desire
      View synonyms
  • have eyes in the back of one's head

    • Know what is going on around one even when one cannot see it.

      ‘you need to have eyes in the back of your head to cope with a two-year-old’
      • ‘You have to have eyes in the back of your head to make sure they are OK.’
      • ‘The bottom line is that in a confrontation with an automobile a cyclist will always loose, and you do not have eyes in the back of your head.’
      • ‘Referees will always be under pressure and we all accept that is part and parcel of the job, but people have to remember we are fallible and that we don't have eyes in the back of our head.’
      • ‘You need to have eyes in the back of your head and always be one step ahead - think about the next skill she'll learn and plan ahead.’
      • ‘He didn't have that quality of having eyes in the back of his head.’
      • ‘And how can a local referee, without neutral assistants, probably impartial because of club affiliation, act correctly, and be expected to have eyes in the back of his head?’
      • ‘I suppose it never hurts to have eyes in the back of your head.’
      • ‘‘These two cars are a bit of a challenge… you need to have eyes in the back of your head when you stop at a station’.’
      • ‘Like a parent who claims to have eyes in the back of their head, Shannon whipped around, aware of being watched.’
      • ‘Your children actually do believe you when you tell them you have eyes in the back of your head.’
  • hit someone in the eye (or between the eyes)

    • informal Be very obvious or impressive.

      ‘he wouldn't notice talent if it hit him right between the eyes’
      • ‘‘When you get to Geraldton there's nothing that hits you in the eye,’ he said.’
      • ‘SITTING THROUGH an exceptionally bad movie, how often have you wondered why the people behind the film failed to notice the glaring flaws that hit you in the eye?’
      • ‘The material wreckage just hits you in the eye before you even reach the city limits: pockmarked scattering of half-constructed, vacant high rise buildings.’
      • ‘It doesn't grow on you, it just hits you between the eyes on first listen and goes, ‘Yeah?’’
      • ‘I do not often think that way about life in general, but occasionally - today, for instance - it just hits me between the eyes: this is hard.’
      • ‘What hit you between the eyes, however, was the paucity of any real programme or policy agenda emerging from the party of the Right.’
      • ‘The consistency of the brûlée was slightly on the heavy side, but the flavour was rich and the vanilla hit you between the eyes.’
      • ‘It was the sort of place where the poverty hits you between the eyes, pollution clogs the air and crumbling tower blocks rise from the ground like broken old teeth.’
      • ‘It was one of those things that hit us between the eyes.’
      • ‘And all this hits you between the eyes when you see it for the first time.’
  • keep an eye on

    • Keep under careful observation.

      ‘dealers are keeping an eye on the currency markets’
      • ‘They are much easier to observe, infiltrate & generally keep an eye on when they are in the open.’
      • ‘I always wear a heart-rate monitor and I keep an eye on my heart rate all the time.’
      • ‘Observers said investors should keep an eye on the operating profit excluding the charge.’
      • ‘Many members enjoy working out and then relaxing in the hydrotherapy area, but now we will have no choice but to keep an eye on our watches.’
      • ‘Our Highways Department keeps an eye on the bridge and checks it every week, using jetting equipment to keep it clear.’
      • ‘These observers keep an eye on all the activities and make sure that people stay safe.’
      • ‘The doctors keep an eye on the size of the tumour and for now it's okay.’
      • ‘As part of a recent study, pupils are keeping an eye on a freshly picked daffodil which has begun to turn blue.’
      • ‘With it you can set up a camera, keep an eye on whatever needs watching and capture images at will.’
      • ‘Observers of politics also kept an eye on individuals who might emerge as candidates to be Prime Minister.’
  • keep an eye out (or open)

    • Look out for something with particular attention.

      ‘keep an eye out for his car’
      • ‘Instead, we explored the bustling boardwalks of the restored historic dockland, watching boats come and go and keeping an eye out for fur seals.’
      • ‘The Neighbourhood Watch gets residents involved in keeping an eye out for suspicious behaviour and alerting police to possible law-breaking.’
      • ‘Conservation officer Rod Gow kept an eye out for the bear from close to the Three Sisters Parkway while Naylor parked near an open excavation site where the bear was last spotted.’
      • ‘My parents kept an eye out for places I could play.’
      • ‘Oh, Lydia, would you mind keeping an eye out for that damned butler?’
      • ‘We should keep that question in mind, and keep an eye open for anything later in the dialogue that might shed light on it.’
      • ‘Satoshi and Makoto trudged along, keeping an eye out for trouble and watching the shadows dance on the water.’
      • ‘The couple say police have been very helpful and their neighbours have kept an eye out for the culprits but no-one has been caught.’
      • ‘‘We contacted our agents at the M1 depot in Sandiacre and they kept an eye out for the bears during their routine patrols,’ he said.’
      • ‘They wanted to do a record with us and they kept an eye out for us.’
      be on your guard, watch out, look out, mind out, be wary, be careful, be cautious, be on the lookout, be on the alert, keep your eyes open, keep a sharp lookout, be on the qui vive
      View synonyms
  • keep one's eyes open (or peeledor britishskinned)

    • Be on the alert; watch carefully or vigilantly for something.

      ‘keep your eyes peeled for a phonebox’
      • ‘I knew I couldn't sleep, but I still had to keep my eyes open to watch for skirmishers, or raiders sneaking up on us in the night.’
      • ‘Elea kept her eyes peeled, staying alert for possible guard movement or an alarm.’
      • ‘Young Marco is instructed by his father to keep his eyes open and be attentive to all that is around him as he walks along Mulberry Street and to report back to him.’
      • ‘She said: ‘The local community have supported us so well and now we want them to keep their eyes open and to be vigilant.’’
      • ‘I'll try to keep my eyes open and watch for them for you, but I don't think they'll come.’
      • ‘This time, she decided to keep her eyes open, and she watched, as the green flames seemed to rise from the floor and surround her.’
      • ‘They kept their eyes open and watched intently for any signs of the rabbit.’
      • ‘You will have to remain vigilant and keep your eyes peeled.’
      • ‘But you've just got to keep your eyes open and watch out for the other cars.’
      • ‘Students and parents can be alerted to keep their eyes open for printers.’
  • make eyes at someone

    • Look at someone with clear sexual interest.

      ‘Doyle was making eyes at the girl, who was extremely pretty’
      • ‘People are most amused by the girls who constantly flirt with viewers in the street in front of their windows by making eyes at them or dancing lasciviously.’
      • ‘And to make matters worse, that girl there keeps making eyes at me.’
      • ‘I would hate having to sit at a bar beside young girls making eyes at me.’
      • ‘I get out of the car and am standing around, then I notice someone standing against a wall making eyes at me.’
      • ‘At break time when I walked into the common room Janette made eyes at me and pretended to swoon.’
      • ‘Harry said ‘Remember how you told me that Rita was always making eyes at me?’’
      • ‘Regardless, he still seems to be flattered, and keeps making eyes at me throughout the flight.’
      • ‘In all fairness, the crowd wasn't making eyes at me either.’
      • ‘Even from across the bar, it is clear that she is making eyes at you.’
      • ‘Instead of stepping around him I made eyes at him and we started kissing.’
  • my eye (or all my eye and betty martin)

    • dated, informal Used to indicate surprise or disbelief.

  • one in the eye for

    • A disappointment or setback for (someone or something)

      ‘this success for Manchester is one in the eye for London’
      • ‘It is certainly one in the eye for the Yorkshire Cricket Academy that a 26-year-old League player should be preferred to either of two cricketers who have both come through Yorkshire's finishing school.’
      • ‘It's my parent's 43rd wedding anniversary today, which is one in the eye for those who said it wouldn't last.’
      • ‘It's the best favor you can do yourself today, and one in the eye for the window-peepers.’
      • ‘His republicanism was also on show as he effectively described the defeat as one in the eye for the evil federalists who would devour us along with their post-prandial brandies.’
      • ‘Ponting being awarded the Man Of The Match was one in the eye for Vaughan.’
      • ‘I have a proposal that will be one in the eye for those Fat Cats.’
      • ‘The whole match was also one in the eye for Reds boss John Harvey, who saw his team self-destruct for some unknown reason.’
      • ‘He did not have to say it was also one in the eye for the right.’
      • ‘It's a fantastic achievement - and one in the eye for those who have carped and cavilled about the underperformance of Great Britain's competitors in Athens.’
      • ‘This was one in the eye for all Wimbledon's detractors this week.’
  • open someone's eyes

    • Cause someone to realize or discover something.

      ‘the letter finally opened my eyes to the truth’
      • ‘He had intended to try his hand at a little matchmaking, to try and get them to open their eyes and realize that they were perfect for each other.’
      • ‘Tragically, we often fail to open our eyes and realize this country of ours is teaming with unappreciated natural beauty and diversity.’
      • ‘When he stops shooting they open their eyes and realize that the bullets didn't make it through.’
      • ‘Someone has to open our eyes and ears and help us to discover what lies beyond our own perception.’
      • ‘If you can only open your eyes, you will realize that I am addressing you not them.’
      • ‘The least we can do is to realize the nature of that machine and open our eyes.’
      • ‘The obtuse authoritarian administration has finally opened its eyes and realized that it must do something to address long-standing public rancor.’
      • ‘As they open their eyes new leaders realize many of the gurus, experts, coaches, academics, and authorities, they listen to are charlatans who do not live what they talk and write about.’
      • ‘I think that the Japanese people need to open their eyes and realize that they do not live in this world alone.’
      • ‘The culture they discover will open their eyes to new things and allow them to appreciate the British way of life.’
      inform, make aware, notify, tell, advise, let know, illuminate, open someone's eyes, apprise
      View synonyms
  • see eye to eye

    • Be in full agreement.

      ‘the boss and I do not always see eye to eye’
      • ‘Gary didn't always see eye to eye with his father, and this is where the honesty shows through.’
      • ‘This is how countries stay allies even when they don't always see eye to eye.’
      • ‘We don't always quite see eye to eye on things and I've been so unutterably miserable this week that it's been making him unhappy to see me so unhappy.’
      • ‘Still, Europe does not always see eye to eye with the Americans.’
      • ‘They complement each other, even if they don't always see eye to eye.’
      • ‘He and I have had some great discussions over time even when we don't agree or see eye to eye on a subject.’
      • ‘It's an equation which means politicians and economists won't always see eye to eye.’
      • ‘Developers and the government may not always see eye to eye but they agree on the need to provide affordable housing for key workers.’
      • ‘We're going through the motions right now of just getting agreements to try to see eye to eye on these very essential practical arrangements.’
      • ‘Even though Nick and John did not always see eye to eye, I know that they respected one other as politicians who were aware of their own weaknesses and strengths.’
      agree, concur, be in agreement, be of the same mind, be of the same opinion, be in accord, be in sympathy, sympathize, be united, think as one
      be on the same wavelength, get on, get along, feel a rapport
      View synonyms
  • a twinkle (or gleam) in someone's eye

    • Something that is as yet no more than an idea or dream.

      ‘the scheme is only a gleam in the developer's eye’
      • ‘I just had an idea! ‘he said, with a gleam in his eye that made me nervous.’’
      • ‘‘Good idea,’ said the Colonel with a twinkle in his eye.’
      • ‘Forty years ago, with only two channels available, no one had heard of attention deficit disorder; remote-controls weren't even a twinkle in a boffin 's eye so no one knew about repetitive strain injury either.’
      • ‘Red was looking at him, and John swore there was a twinkle in Red 's eye.’
      • ‘Her smile was so fake and there was a gleam in her eye, a gleam of hatred as she dragged out every word painfully.’
      • ‘Long before Dame Berwick was a twinkle in Mother Kaler 's eye, men have dressed up as women for entertainment, and vice versa.’
      • ‘He would approach the podium and take on a demeanor of sheer delight at the opportunity to speak to others about his ideas, and then, with a gleam in his eye, he would craft these amazing sentences.’
      • ‘There's a twinkle in Hartley 's eye as he is reminded of that.’
      • ‘If the contrast gets too disturbing, there's no need to despair, because the locals are always on hand with a pitcher of something noxious and a twinkle in their eye.’
      • ‘How to teach youngsters the facts of life has presented problems ever since those famous birds and bees were just a twinkle in someone's eye.’
  • up to the (or one's) eyes (in)

    • 1informal Extremely busy.

      ‘I'm up to my eyes this morning’
      • ‘At least that's the ambitious aim of the team behind the biggest children's event in the South East, who on their own admission are ‘up to their eyes’ in finalising their preparations.’
      • ‘I could tell you that I've been up to my eyes in work.’
      • ‘But in the mean time, I'm up to my eyes in her work.’
      • ‘While they appreciate that he is up to his eyes, they know that he will still find time to help.’
      • ‘John Holian will be up to his eyes with people looking for tickets.’
      • ‘I'm only weeks away from getting married and hence up to my eyes in work.’
      • ‘What we want is the people who aren't up to their eyes to step forward and take it on.’
      • ‘I have not written you because first I have been up to my eyes with work.’
      • ‘I am up to my eyes in tartan just now making ‘kilts’ for 10 of the French locals.’
      • ‘I'm up to my eyes in work, particularly preparing for tomorrow's plant fair at Pashley.’
      very busy, fully occupied
      overwhelmed, inundated, overloaded, overburdened, overworked, overtaxed, under pressure, hard-pressed, harassed, run off one's feet, rushed off one's feet, with one's back to the wall
      pushed, up against it, up to here
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Used to emphasize the extreme degree of an unpleasant situation.
        ‘the council is up to its eyes in debt’
        • ‘In his late 20's, he's a sharp dresser, big smoker, has a mortgage and is up to his eyes in debt.’
        • ‘There is nothing worse than lying awake at night sick with worry because, despite doing your best to work hard, to raise your children and pay your bills, you are up to your eyes in final reminders that you cannot pay.’
        • ‘It may be the season to be jolly, but most of us are just up to our eyes in debt, run off our feet and completely partied out.’
        • ‘There's no point in reminding you that right now you are probably up to your eyes in freshly calved cows, stubborn heifers, loud calves (with all their problems) and a farmyard with an ever increasing daily workload to contend with.’
        • ‘Are you up to your eyes in debt or struggling to pay the mortgage?’
        • ‘Of course, if you are up to your eyes in debts, then repaying these first must take priority over saving.’
        very busy, fully occupied
        View synonyms
  • what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over

    • proverb If you're unaware of an unpleasant fact or situation you can't be troubled by it.

  • with one's eyes open

    • see eye
      • ‘We accepted our obligations with open eyes, mindful of the sacrifices that had been made and those to come.’
      • ‘‘We really do have to enter this debate with open eyes - one system is not better or worse than the other,’ he said.’
      • ‘Some southerners still like to call what resulted the ‘War of Northern Aggression,’ but the truth is that the South started it knowingly and with open eyes.’
      • ‘I tried to look at the future with open eyes, but sometimes it really did sting realizing how everything could change in a few years.’
      • ‘Wifey is encouraging me to approach it with open eyes.’
      • ‘We will face these threats with open eyes and we will defeat them.’
      • ‘So decisions are made with open eyes, with a clear consciousness of the benefits and the risks for Bulgaria.’
      • ‘For that matter, why would anyone want to stay in a hotel room, however suavely appointed, when there's a city out there that begs to be experienced with open eyes, mouth and pockets?’
      • ‘We should do this with open eyes and pay the bills as a tax payer.’
      • ‘Economic reality is too unpleasant to be faced with open eyes.’
      deliberately, intentionally, consciously, wittingly, with full knowledge, in full awareness, with one's eyes open, on purpose, by design, calculatedly, premeditatedly, studiedly, wilfully, purposefully, willingly
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    • Fully aware of the possible difficulties or consequences.

      ‘I went into this job with my eyes open’
      • ‘I walked into this conversation with my eyes open.’
      • ‘I would go into the relationship with my eyes open at the very least.’
  • with one's eyes shut (or closed)

    • 1Without having to make much effort; easily.

      ‘I could do it with my eyes shut’
      • ‘I could run this city with my eyes closed; it really can't be that difficult.’
      • ‘All the better if you can do it with your eyes closed.’
      • ‘It emits a beeping sound, and you can find it with your eyes closed.’
      • ‘True, it's hard to stomach the idea of being a beginner at tennis when you can already score a soccer goal with your eyes closed.’
      • ‘I could easily write up her treatment with my eyes closed.’
      • ‘I had just laid waste to two guys who could easily over power me, with my eyes shut, and laying on the ground.’
    • 2Without considering the possible difficulties or consequences.

      ‘she didn't go to Hollywood with her eyes closed’
      • ‘And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed.’
      • ‘‘I don't think you ever come back from that kind of experience the same, unless you go in with your eyes shut,’ he says.’
      • ‘Well a little research would have been helpful, are you normally prone to jumping in to things with your eyes closed?’
      • ‘Maybe in a different time, in a different place, maybe if only you had approached with your eyes closed, or they with theirs, it would all have turned out more beautifully.’
  • with one eye on

    • Giving some but not all one's attention to.

      ‘I sat with one eye on the clock, waiting for my turn’
      • ‘Hang on, aren't you the one who said that Crean's policies were devised with one eye on the polls and another on media impact?’
      • ‘Football pundits who report with one eye on who they are likely to upset are soon identified and equally quickly dismissed by our suspicious fans.’
      • ‘Judges always interpret the law with one eye on what they think the people want or need.’
      • ‘But publishing is no longer a profession conducted over claret in oak panelled rooms and today's agents and editors are entrepreneurial types with one eye on the keyboard and another on the mass markets.’
      • ‘But Goran isn't the only one with one eye on the football.’
      • ‘Now I am sitting in an armchair, talking to you, with one eye on the TV.’
      • ‘The way she said it, unprompted, with one eye on the photo lab phone, we imagine she's been waiting, patiently, very patiently, for that day to come.’
      • ‘Some folk tell me I should be more demanding from the board, but I manage with one eye on the balance sheet.’
      • ‘Bell makes provocative points about the way in which governments now fight wars with one eye on how the action will play in front of the cameras.’
      • ‘Significantly, perhaps with one eye on the next round of consolidation, he said a gap would open up between ‘those who make the top 10 and those who don't’.’


Old English ēage, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch oog and German Auge.