Definition of raise (or lower) one's sights in US English:

raise (or lower) one's sights


  • Become more (or less) ambitious; increase (or lower) one's expectations.

    • ‘It has forced us to lower our sights, and curtail our expectations.’
    • ‘He also sponsored events at which high-achieving black men came to speak to the school students, helping them to raise their sights to a higher level.’
    • ‘Yet everybody has been so busy picking over the minutiae of dodgy dossiers that few have raised their sights far enough to bother debating the principles of intervention, sovereignty and self-determination.’
    • ‘The company lowered their sights in May to ask for an average yearly increase of 7.8 per cent over five years, including rises of more than 10 per cent in 2005-06 and 2006-07.’
    • ‘An admiral goal provided the amateurs are raising their sights rather than the professionals dropping down a notch.’
    • ‘If the coach continually voices such limited expectations then his players are unlikely to raise their sights very much higher.’
    • ‘We need leaders who can raise their sights to a contest between competing visions of the good society.’
    • ‘The best response might be for them to raise their sights, and try putting politicians on the spot over their political thoughts and deeds rather than their personal motives.’
    • ‘I believe if the country has a leader that can elevate our spirit and raise our sights, that this country can achieve anything we set our hearts and minds to do.’
    • ‘Scotland will have to raise their sights considerably for Saturday's match against South Africa at the same venue.’