Definition of know someone by sight in US English:

know someone by sight


  • Recognize someone by their appearance without knowing their name or being so well acquainted as to talk to them.

    • ‘We knew very little about each other; he knew me by reputation, and I knew him by sight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We all knew them by sight and they seemed a truly lovely family.’
    • ‘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.’
    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, locate
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