Definition of half an eye in US English:

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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Greece, like Spain, has to have half an eye on the weather when organising its school year.’
    • ‘So I'm still keeping half an eye out for nice apartments downtown.’
    • ‘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.’