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See synonyms for: eyeeyeingeyeseying on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural eyes, (Archaic) ey·en [ahy-uhn] /ˈaɪ ən/ or eyne [ahyn]. /aɪn/.
  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.

  1. this organ with respect to the color of the iris: blue eyes.

  2. the region surrounding the eye: a black eye; puffy eyes.

  3. sight; vision: a sharp eye.

  4. the power of seeing; appreciative or discriminating visual perception: the eye of an artist.

  5. a look, glance, or gaze: to cast one's eye at a beautiful necklace.

  6. an attentive look, close observation, or watch: to be under the eye of a guard.

  7. regard, view, aim, or intention: to have an eye to one's own advantage.

  8. a manner or way of looking at something; judgment; opinion: 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.

  9. a center of light, intelligence, influence, etc.

  10. something resembling or suggesting the eye in appearance, shape, etc., as the opening in the lens of a camera, a peephole, or a buttonhole.

  11. Botany.

    • the bud of a potato, Jerusalem artichoke, etc.

    • a small, contrastingly colored part at the center of a flower.

  12. the central spot of a target; bull's-eye.

  13. a choice center cut of meat: an eye of round; the eye of the rib.

  14. one of the round spots on the tail feathers of a peacock.

  15. the hole in a needle.

  16. a hole made in a thing for the insertion of some object, as the handle of a tool: the eye of an ax.

  17. a metal or other ring through which something, as a rope or rod, is passed.

  18. the loop into which a hook is inserted.

  19. Electronics. a photoelectric cell or similar device used to perform a function analogous to visual inspection.

  20. Building Trades. a ring on the end of a tension member, as an eye bar or eye bolt, for connection with another member.

  21. a hole formed during the maturation of cheese, especially Emmenthaler or Gruyère.

  22. a loop worked at the end of a rope.

  23. Meteorology. the approximately circular region of relatively light winds and fair weather found at the center of a severe tropical cyclone.

  24. eyes, Nautical. the extreme forward part of the upper deck at the bow of a vessel.

  25. 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.

  1. 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.

Idioms about eye

  1. an eye for an eye, repayment in kind, as revenge for an injustice.

  2. be all eyes, to give all one's attention to something; look intently.

  1. catch someone's eye, to draw or attract someone's attention: to catch the waiter's eye.

  2. 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.

  3. have an eye for, to have the ability to appreciate distinctions in; be discerning or perceptive about: She has an eye for antique furniture.

  4. have eyes only for, : Also only have eyes for.

    • to want no other person or thing but: She was always surrounded by admirers, but she had eyes only for Harry.

    • to see, or view, or desire to see only.

  5. in a pig's eye, Slang. absolutely not; never: In a pig's eye I will!

  6. keep an eye on, to watch over attentively: Please keep an eye on my plants while I'm away.

  7. 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.

  8. keep one's eye on the ball, to remain attentive; be especially alert.

  9. keep one's eyes open, to be especially alert or observant.

  10. lay / clap / set eyes on, Informal. to catch sight of; see: They had never laid eyes on such a big car before.

  11. make eyes at, to gaze flirtatiously or amorously at.

  12. my eye!Informal. (a mild exclamation of contradiction or surprise): He says he wasn't told about this? My eye!

  13. 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.

  14. pick the eyes out, Australia and New Zealand. to select the best parts or items.

  15. run one's eye over, to glance briefly at; examine hastily.

  16. see eye to eye, to have exactly the same opinion; agree: They have never been able to see eye to eye on politics.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. with an eye to, with a plan or purpose of: with an eye to one's future.

  21. with one's eyes open, aware of the inherent or potential risks: She signed the papers with her eyes open.

Origin of eye

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”

Other words from eye

  • eye·a·ble, adjective
  • eyelike, adjective
  • eyer, noun
  • un·der·eye, noun, verb (used with object), un·der·eyed, un·der·ey·ing or un·der·eye·ing.
  • un·eye·a·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with eye

Words Nearby eye

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use eye in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for eye (1 of 2)


/ () /

  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: Related adjectives: ocular, oculate, ophthalmic, optic

  2. (often plural) the ability to see; sense of vision: weak eyes

  1. the visible external part of an eye, often including the area around it: heavy-lidded eyes; piercing eyes

  2. a look, glance, expression, or gaze: a stern eye

  3. a sexually inviting or provocative look (esp in the phrases give (someone) the (glad) eye, make eyes at)

  4. attention or observation (often in the phrases catch someone's eye, keep an eye on, cast an eye over)

  5. ability to recognize, judge, or appreciate: an eye for antiques

  6. (often plural) opinion, judgment, point of view, or authority: in the eyes of the law

  7. 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

  8. a small loop or hole, as at one end of a needle

  9. a small area of low pressure and calm in the centre of a tornado or cyclone

  10. informal See private eye

  11. all eyes informal acutely vigilant or observant: the children were all eyes

  12. my eye or all my eye informal rubbish; nonsense

  13. an eye for an eye retributive or vengeful justice; retaliation

  14. cut one's eye after someone, cut one's eye at someone or cut one's eye on someone Caribbean to look rudely at a person and then turn one's face away sharply while closing one's eyes: a gesture of contempt

  15. eyes out NZ with every possible effort: he went at the job eyes out

  16. get one's eye in mainly sport to become accustomed to the conditions, light, etc, with a consequent improvement in one's performance

  17. half an eye

    • a modicum of perceptiveness: anyone with half an eye can see she's in love

    • continuing unobtrusive observation or awareness: the dog had half an eye on the sheep

  18. have eyes for to be interested in: she has eyes only for him

  19. in one's mind's eye pictured within the mind; imagined or remembered vividly

  20. in the public eye exposed to public curiosity or publicity

  21. keep an eye open or keep an eye out to watch with special attention (for)

  22. keep one's eyes peeled or keep one's eyes skinned to watch vigilantly (for)

  23. look someone in the eye to look at someone openly and without shame or embarrassment

  24. make eyes or make sheep's eyes old-fashioned to ogle amorously

  25. more than meets the eye hidden motives, meaning, or facts

  26. pick the eyes out Australian and NZ to select the best parts or pieces (of)

  27. see eye to eye to agree (with)

  28. set eyes on, lay eyes on or clap eyes on (usually used with a negative) to see: she had never laid eyes on him before

  29. the eye of the wind nautical the direction from which the wind is blowing

  30. turn a blind eye to or close one's eyes to to pretend not to notice or ignore deliberately

  31. up to one's eyes extremely busy (with)

  32. with a … eye in a … manner: he regards our success with a jealous eye

  33. with an eye to or having an eye to (preposition)

    • regarding; with reference to: with an eye to one's own interests

    • with the intention or purpose of: with an eye to reaching agreement

  34. with one's eyes open in the full knowledge of all relevant facts

  35. with one's eyes shut

    • with great ease, esp as a result of thorough familiarity: I could drive home with my eyes shut

    • without being aware of all the facts

verbeyes, eyeing, eying or eyed (tr)
  1. to look at carefully or warily

  2. Also: eye up to look at in a manner indicating sexual interest; ogle

Origin of eye

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

Derived forms of eye

  • eyeless, adjective
  • eyelike, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for eye (2 of 2)


/ () /

  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

Scientific definitions for eye


[ 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. See more at compound eye eyespot.

  1. Botany A bud on a tuber, such as a potato.

  2. Meteorology The relatively calm area at the center of a hurricane or similar storm. See more at hurricane.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for eye


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

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with eye


In addition to the idioms beginning with eye

  • eye for an eye, an
  • eye opener, an
  • eyes are bigger than one's stomach, one's
  • eyes in the back of one's head, have
  • eyes open, with
  • eye to eye
  • eye to the main chance, have an
  • eye to, with an

also see:

  • 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 eyepull the wool over someone's eyesrun one's eyes oversee eye to eyesee with half an eyesight for sore eyesstars in one's eyesthrow dust in someone's eyesturn a blind eyeup to one's ears (eyes)with an eye towith one's eyes openwithout batting an eye.

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