c.1200, from Old English ege (Mercian), eage (West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *augon (cf. Old Saxon aga, Old Frisian age, Old Norse auga, Swedish öga, Danish øie, Middle Dutch oghe, Dutch oog, Old High German ouga, German Auge, Gothic augo "eye"), from PIE *okw- "to see" (cf. Sanskrit akshi "the eye, the number two," Greek opsis "a sight," Old Church Slavonic oko, Lithuanian akis, Latin oculus, Greek okkos, Tocharian ak, ek, Armenian akn).
Until late 14c. the plural was in -an, hence modern dialectal plural een, ene. The eye of a needle was in Old English; to see eye to eye is from Isa. lii:8. Eye contact attested by 1965. Eye-opener "anything that informs and enlightens" is from 1863. Have an eye on "keep under supervision" is attested from early 15c.
early 15c., "cause to see;" 1560s, "behold, observe," from eye (n.). Related: Eyed; eyeing.
An organ of vision or of light sensitivity.
Either of a pair of hollow structures located in bony sockets of the skull, functioning together or independently, each having a lens capable of focusing incident light on an internal photosensitive retina from which nerve impulses are sent to the brain; the organ of vision.
The external, visible portion of this organ together with its associated structures, especially the eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
The pigmented iris of this organ.
The faculty of seeing; vision.
The principle of justice that requires punishment equal in kind to the offense (not greater than the offense, as was frequently given in ancient times). Thus, if someone puts out another's eye, one of the offender's eyes should be put out. The principle is stated in the Book of Exodus as “Thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”
Note: Jesus referred to this principle in the Sermon on the Mount, calling on his followers to turn the other cheek instead.
A private detective; private eye: an eye named Johnny O'John (1930+)
big brown eyes, black eye, cats' eyes, eagle-eye, four-eyes, give someone the eye, give someone the fish-eye, give someone the glad eye, goo-goo eyes, have eyes for, in a pig's ass, keep an eye on, make goo-goo eyes, mud in your eye, not bat an eye, private eye, pull the wool over someone's eyes, put the eye on someone, redeye, the red-eye, round-eye, short eyes, shut-eye, snake eyes, stoned to the eyes, a thumb in one's eye
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, or one of its detectives
[1914+; fr the eye used as the trademark symbol of the agency]
(Heb. 'ain, meaning "flowing"), applied (1) to a fountain, frequently; (2) to colour (Num. 11:7; R.V., "appearance," marg. "eye"); (3) the face (Ex. 10:5, 15; Num. 22:5, 11), in Num. 14:14, "face to face" (R.V. marg., "eye to eye"). "Between the eyes", i.e., the forehead (Ex. 13:9, 16). The expression (Prov. 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in the cup," is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its eye." The beads or bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set the eyes" on any one is to view him with favour (Gen. 44:21; Job 24:23; Jer. 39:12). This word is used figuratively in the expressions an "evil eye" (Matt. 20:15), a "bountiful eye" (Prov. 22:9), "haughty eyes" (6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isa. 3:16), "eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. 2:14), "the lust of the eyes" (1 John 2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service" (Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22). Men were sometimes punished by having their eyes put out (1 Sam. 11:2; Samson, Judg. 16:21; Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:7). The custom of painting the eyes is alluded to in 2 Kings 9:30, R.V.; Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40, a custom which still prevails extensively among Eastern women.