One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Recognize someone by their appearance without knowing their name or being so well acquainted as to talk to them.
recognize, single out, pick out, spot, point out, pinpoint, pin down, put one's finger on, put a name to, name, place, know, know again, know by sight, discern, distinguish, discover, find, locateView synonyms
- ‘We knew very little about each other; he knew me by reputation, and I knew him by sight.’
- ‘But she said she had never spoken to him before and only knew him by sight.’
- ‘But although the people living and working locally knew him by sight, they noticed he was never much seen out of his flat, except to buy essentials from the next-door newsagents.’
- ‘I knew him by sight, for he went to the same school as me but I had never spoken to him nor did I know his name.’
- ‘Naturally I knew her by sight, and had heard her speak, a long time before I came to know her properly.’
- ‘I had known his brother very well at junior school and I knew Freddie by sight.’
- ‘We all knew them by sight and they seemed a truly lovely family.’
- ‘The woman and her family moved here from France sometime earlier this year, I didn't know her name but I knew her by sight.’
- ‘I hadn't had any call to work with her department since starting and knew her by sight and reputation only.’
- ‘Leo, the manager of the restaurant, knew me by sight and winked when he saw me walk in on Logan's arm.’
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