mind's eye

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the hypothetical site of visual recollection or imagination: In her mind's eye she saw the city as it had been in Caesar's time.
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Origin of mind's eye

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does mind’s eye mean?

The phrase mind’s eye refers to the part of your mind that allows you to visualize things—to “see” them in your imagination.

When you see something in your mind’s eye, you are picturing it in your mind. This can happen when you have a memory of something that you’ve actually seen, or when you try to visualize something that you haven’t seen or even something that doesn’t exist. When you’re reading a book, the words often cause images to form in your mind’s eye.

The term is also sometimes used as another way to refer to the imagination in general, such as in the context of visualizing abstract things like success.

Example: This author’s writing really makes the story come alive in my mind’s eye.

Where does mind’s eye come from?

The first records of the term mind’s eye come from around 1400.

The mind’s eye is where you can see things without seeing them with your actual eyes. Of course, your memory and imagination also allow you to recall other sensations, such as what something sounded like, tasted like, felt like, or smelled like. But the term mind’s eye is specifically used in reference to visualization.

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How is mind’s eye used in real life?

Mind’s eye can be used in any context in which something is being visualized, such as during a daydream, when having a memory, or when reading a story.



Try using mind’s eye!

If mind’s eye refers to the part of the mind that allows you to visualize things, what should be the term for the part of the mind that allows you to imagine smells?

A. the mind’s skin
B. the mind’s ear
C. the mind’s nose
D. the mind’s tongue

How to use mind's eye in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mind's eye

mind's eye

the visual memory or the imagination
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