- presentation of a bill of exchange: a draft payable at two months after sight.
- a showing of goods, especially gems, held periodically for wholesalers.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- immediately upon seeing, especially without referring elsewhere for assurance, further information, etc.: to translate something at sight.
- Commerce.on presentation: a draft payable at sight.
- beyond one's range of vision.
- Informal.beyond reason; exceedingly high: The price is out of sight.
- Slang.(often used as an interjection) fantastic; marvelous: a ceremony so glamorous it was out of sight. Oh wow! Out of sight!
Origin of sight
- as soon as seen
- on presentationa bill payable at sight
- slangnot visible
- extreme or very unusual
- (as interj.)that's marvellous!
- to furnish with a sight or sights
- to adjust the sight of
Word Origin for sight
Old English sihð, gesiht, gesihð "thing seen; faculty of sight; aspect; vision; apparition," from Proto-Germanic *sekh(w)- (cf. Danish sigte, Swedish sigt, Middle Dutch sicht, Dutch zicht, Old High German siht, German Sicht, Gesicht), stem that also yielded Old English seon (see see (v.)), with noun suffix -th (2), later -t.
Verily, truth is sight. Therefore if two people should come disputing, saying, 'I have seen,' 'I have heard,' we should trust the one who says 'I have seen.' [Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 5.14.4]
Meaning "perception or apprehension by means of the eyes" is from early 13c. Meaning "device on a firearm to assist in aiming" is from 1580s. A "show" of something, hence, colloquially, "a great many; a lot" (late 14c.). Sight for sore eyes "welcome visitor" is attested from 1738; sight unseen "without previous inspection" is from 1892. Sight gag first attested 1944. Middle English had sighty (late 14c.) "visible, conspicuous; bright, shining; attractive, handsome;" c.1400 as "keen-sighted;" mid-15c. as "discerning" (cf. German sichtig "visible").
Without having viewed the object in question, as in He bought the horse sight unseen. This seeming oxymoron—how can a sight, which means something seen, be not seen?—dates from the late 1800s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with sight
- sight for sore eyes, a
- sight unseen
- at first blush (sight)
- at sight
- can't stand the sight of
- catch sight of
- heave into sight
- in sight
- know by sight
- lose sight of
- love at first sight
- lower one's sights
- on sight
- out of sight
- raise one's sights
- second sight
- see the sights
- set one's sights on
- twenty-twenty hindsight