View synonyms for eye


[ ahy ]


, plural eyes, (Archaic) ey·en [ahy, -, uh, n] or eyne [ahyn].
  1. the organ of sight, in vertebrates typically one of a pair of spherical bodies contained in an orbit of the skull and in humans appearing externally as a dense, white, curved membrane, or sclera, surrounding a circular, colored portion, or iris, that is covered by a clear, curved membrane, or cornea, and in the center of which is an opening, or pupil, through which light passes to the retina.
  2. the aggregate of structures situated within or near the orbit that assist, support, or protect the eye.
  3. this organ with respect to the color of the iris:

    blue eyes.

  4. the region surrounding the eye:

    a black eye; puffy eyes.

  5. sight; vision:

    a sharp eye.

  6. the power of seeing; appreciative or discriminating visual perception:

    the eye of an artist.

  7. a look, glance, or gaze:

    to cast one's eye at a beautiful necklace.

  8. an attentive look, close observation, or watch:

    to be under the eye of a guard.

  9. regard, view, aim, or intention:

    to have an eye to one's own advantage.

  10. a manner or way of looking at something; judgment; opinion: We are all equal in the eyes of the law.

    To my eye, it's a great plan.

    We are all equal in the eyes of the law.

    Evaluate the text with a critical eye.

  11. a center of light, intelligence, influence, etc.
  12. something resembling or suggesting the eye in appearance, shape, etc., as the opening in the lens of a camera, a peephole, or a buttonhole.
  13. Botany.
    1. the bud of a potato, Jerusalem artichoke, etc.
    2. a small, contrastingly colored part at the center of a flower.
  14. the central spot of a target; bull's-eye.
  15. a choice center cut of meat:

    an eye of round; the eye of the rib.

  16. one of the round spots on the tail feathers of a peacock.
  17. the hole in a needle.
  18. a hole made in a thing for the insertion of some object, as the handle of a tool:

    the eye of an ax.

  19. a metal or other ring through which something, as a rope or rod, is passed.
  20. the loop into which a hook is inserted.
  21. Electronics. a photoelectric cell or similar device used to perform a function analogous to visual inspection.
  22. Building Trades. a ring on the end of a tension member, as an eye bar or eye bolt, for connection with another member.
  23. a hole formed during the maturation of cheese, especially Emmenthaler or Gruyère.
  24. a loop worked at the end of a rope.
  25. Meteorology. the approximately circular region of relatively light winds and fair weather found at the center of a severe tropical cyclone.
  26. eyes, Nautical. the extreme forward part of the upper deck at the bow of a vessel.
  27. Nautical. the precise direction from which a wind is blowing.

verb (used with object)

, eyed, ey·ing or eye·ing.
  1. to fix the eyes upon; view:

    to eye the wonders of nature.

  2. to observe or watch narrowly:

    She eyed the two strangers with suspicion.

  3. to make an eye in:

    to eye a needle.

verb (used without object)

, eyed, ey·ing or eye·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to appear to the eye.



/ /


  1. another word for nye
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012



/ /


  1. the organ of sight of animals, containing light-sensitive cells associated with nerve fibres, so that light entering the eye is converted to nervous impulses that reach the brain. In man and other vertebrates the iris controls the amount of light entering the eye and the lens focuses the light onto the retina ocularoculateophthalmicoptic
  2. often plural the ability to see; sense of vision

    weak eyes

  3. the visible external part of an eye, often including the area around it

    heavy-lidded eyes

    piercing eyes

  4. a look, glance, expression, or gaze

    a stern eye

  5. a sexually inviting or provocative look (esp in the phrases give ( someone ) the ( glad ) eye, make eyes at )
  6. attention or observation (often in the phrases catch someone's eye, keep an eye on, cast an eye over )
  7. ability to recognize, judge, or appreciate

    an eye for antiques

  8. often plural opinion, judgment, point of view, or authority

    in the eyes of the law

  9. a structure or marking having the appearance of an eye, such as the bud on a twig or potato tuber or a spot on a butterfly wing
  10. a small loop or hole, as at one end of a needle
  11. a small area of low pressure and calm in the centre of a tornado or cyclone
  12. informal.
  13. all eyes informal.
    acutely vigilant or observant

    the children were all eyes

  14. my eye or all my eye informal.
    rubbish; nonsense
  15. an eye for an eye
    retributive or vengeful justice; retaliation
  16. cut one's eye after someone or cut one's eye at someone or cut one's eye on someone
    to look rudely at a person and then turn one's face away sharply while closing one's eyes: a gesture of contempt
  17. eyes out
    with every possible effort

    he went at the job eyes out

  18. get one's eye in
    sport to become accustomed to the conditions, light, etc, with a consequent improvement in one's performance
  19. half an eye
    1. a modicum of perceptiveness

      anyone with half an eye can see she's in love

    2. continuing unobtrusive observation or awareness

      the dog had half an eye on the sheep

  20. have eyes for
    to be interested in

    she has eyes only for him

  21. in one's mind's eye
    pictured within the mind; imagined or remembered vividly
  22. in the public eye
    exposed to public curiosity or publicity
  23. keep an eye open or keep an eye out
    to watch with special attention (for)
  24. keep one's eyes peeled or keep one's eyes skinned
    to watch vigilantly (for)
  25. look someone in the eye
    to look at someone openly and without shame or embarrassment
  26. make eyes or make sheep's eyes old-fashioned.
    to ogle amorously
  27. more than meets the eye
    hidden motives, meaning, or facts
  28. pick the eyes out
    to select the best parts or pieces (of)
  29. see eye to eye
    to agree (with)
  30. set eyes on or lay eyes on or clap eyes on
    usually used with a negative to see

    she had never laid eyes on him before

  31. the eye of the wind
    nautical the direction from which the wind is blowing
  32. turn a blind eye to or close one's eyes to
    to pretend not to notice or ignore deliberately
  33. up to one's eyes
    extremely busy (with)
  34. with a … eye
    in a … manner

    he regards our success with a jealous eye

  35. with an eye to or having an eye to
    1. regarding; with reference to

      with an eye to one's own interests

    2. with the intention or purpose of

      with an eye to reaching agreement

  36. with one's eyes open
    in the full knowledge of all relevant facts
  37. with one's eyes shut
    1. with great ease, esp as a result of thorough familiarity

      I could drive home with my eyes shut

    2. without being aware of all the facts
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


  1. to look at carefully or warily
  2. Alsoeye up to look at in a manner indicating sexual interest; ogle
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


/ ī /

  1. Anatomy.
    The vertebrate organ of sight, composed of a pair of fluid-filled spherical structures that occupy the orbits of the skull. Incoming light is refracted by the cornea of the eye and transmitted through the pupil to the lens, which focuses the image onto the retina.
  2. Zoology.
    An organ in invertebrates that is sensitive to light.
  3. Zoology.
    See more at compound eye
  4. Botany.
    A bud on a tuber, such as a potato.
  5. Meteorology.
    The relatively calm area at the center of a hurricane or similar storm.
  6. Meteorology.
    See more at hurricane


  1. The organ of sight. Some of its parts are the cornea , iris , lens , optic nerve , pupil , and retina .

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Derived Forms

  • ˈeyeless, adjective
  • ˈeyeˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • eye·a·ble adjective
  • eye·like adjective
  • ey·er noun
  • un·der·eye noun verb (used with object) undereyed undereying or undereyeing
  • un·eye·a·ble adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of eye1

First recorded before 900; Middle English eie, ie, Old English ēge, variant of ēage; cognate with German Auge, Icelandic auga; akin to Latin oculus “eye,” Greek ṓps “eye, face, countenance” and optós “seen, visible,” Sanskrit akṣi, Lithuanian akìs, and Slavic ( Polish ) oko, all meaning “eye”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of eye1

Old English ēage; related to Old Norse auga, Old High German ouga, Sanskrit aksi
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. my eye! Informal. (a mild exclamation of contradiction or surprise):

    He says he wasn't told about this? My eye!

  2. an eye for an eye, repayment in kind, as revenge for an injustice.
  3. be all eyes, to give all one's attention to something; look intently.
  4. catch someone's eye, to draw or attract someone's attention:

    to catch the waiter's eye.

  5. give (someone) the eye, Informal. to look fixedly at (another person), especially with obvious admiration; ogle:

    She ignored the men who were giving her the eye.

  6. have an eye for, to have the ability to appreciate distinctions in; be discerning or perceptive about:

    She has an eye for antique furniture.

  7. have eyes only for, Also only have eyes for.
    1. to want no other person or thing but:

      She was always surrounded by admirers, but she had eyes only for Harry.

    2. to see, or view, or desire to see only.
  8. in a pig's eye, Slang. absolutely not; never:

    In a pig's eye I will!

  9. keep an eye on, to watch over attentively:

    Please keep an eye on my plants while I'm away.

  10. keep an eye out for, to be vigilant in looking or watching for:

    The announcer told his listeners to keep an eye out for the escaped criminal.

  11. keep one's eye on the ball, to remain attentive; be especially alert.
  12. keep one's eyes open, to be especially alert or observant.
  13. lay / clap / set eyes on, Informal. to catch sight of; see:

    They had never laid eyes on such a big car before.

  14. make eyes at, to gaze flirtatiously or amorously at.
  15. open one's eyes, to bring someone to a realization of the truth or of something previously unknown:

    A trip through Asia opened his eyes to the conditions under which millions had to live.

  16. pick the eyes out, Australia and New Zealand. to select the best parts or items.
  17. run one's eye over, to glance briefly at; examine hastily.
  18. see eye to eye, to have exactly the same opinion; agree:

    They have never been able to see eye to eye on politics.

  19. see with half an eye, to see or realize immediately or with ease:

    Anyone can see with half an eye that the plan is doomed to fail.

  20. shut one's eyes to, to refuse to see or consider; disregard:

    We can no longer shut our eyes to the gravity of the situation.

  21. sight for sore eyes, a welcome sight; a pleasant surprise:

    After our many days in the desert, the wretched village was a sight for sore eyes.

  22. with an eye to, with a plan or purpose of:

    with an eye to one's future.

  23. with one's eyes open, aware of the inherent or potential risks:

    She signed the papers with her eyes open.

More idioms and phrases containing eye

  • all eyes
  • apple of one's eye
  • believe one's ears (eyes)
  • bird's-eye view
  • black eye
  • bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
  • catch someone's eye
  • close one's eyes
  • cry one's eyes out
  • eagle eye
  • easy on the eyes
  • evil eye
  • feast one's eyes on
  • give someone the once-over (eye)
  • green-eyed monster
  • have an eye for
  • have one's eye on
  • hit between the eyes
  • hit the bull's-eye
  • in a pig's eye
  • in one's mind's eye
  • in the eye of the wind
  • in the public eye
  • in the twinkling of an eye
  • keep an eye on
  • keep an eye out
  • keep a weather eye
  • keep one's eye on the ball
  • keep one's eyes open
  • lay eyes on
  • look someone in the face (eye)
  • make eyes at
  • more than meets the eye
  • my eye
  • naked eye
  • one eye on
  • open one's eyes
  • out of the corner of one's eye
  • private eye
  • pull the wool over someone's eyes
  • run one's eyes over
  • see eye to eye
  • see with half an eye
  • sight for sore eyes
  • stars in one's eyes
  • throw dust in someone's eyes
  • turn a blind eye
  • up to one's ears (eyes)
  • with an eye to
  • with one's eyes open
  • without batting an eye
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Example Sentences

As the company firms up its offering in activewear, they’re also keeping an eye on what trends will help them grow.

We can be eyes and ears for law enforcement and communicate back to them, but we’re not civilian law enforcement.

The smoke particles from the wildfires raging all over the West Coast since August blocked the blue light from the sun, creating the orange and red-tinted spectacle for our human eyes.

Then, the edit team doubles down on a handful of those products that they think readers are particularly interested and integrates them in videos, newsletters, social posts and written content to get more eyes on them.

From Digiday

It can track their location and let parents keep an eye on where they go.

The numbers reinforce another article in the Post, in which cops confessed to “turning a blind eye” to minor crimes.

This attack, coming just days after the PlayStation DDoS, was certainly an eye-opener.

They eye the door anxiously, convinced that at any moment, a Pakistani or Iranian intelligence officer will come barging in.

Nervous fans can keep a vigilant eye on it via a webcam hosted on the town website that offers 24-hour goat viewing.

I think part of being in the public eye is getting recognized, and dealing with positive and negative scrutiny.

But Lucy had noted, out of the corner of her watchful eye, the arrival of Miss Grains, indignant and perspiring.

As his eye became accustomed to the gloom, David Arden saw traces of gilding on the walls.

As small letters weary the eye most, so also the smallest affairs disturb us most.

Ripperda's eye fell upon the mantle,—it was discoloured a dark red in many places, he nodded his head, and the man withdrew.

The noise of the hammer is always in his ears, and his eye is upon the pattern of the vessel he maketh.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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