see

See is what your eyes do. However, this word has loads of meanings: you can see a shrink, which means you're consulting a psychiatrist; or you can be seeing your high school sweetheart, which means you're dating him.

See usually means passively observing, while look, which is also something you do with your eyes, is more active and intentional. When someone says, "The president will see you now," the president is sitting there passively, waiting for you to be shown in. You can say "I see," to mean "I understand; I get it." Or you can look into your crystal ball and see into the future, in which case you'd be called a seer.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: see

1
v
perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight
2
v
come together
3
v
perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
4
v
take charge of or deal with
5
v
match or meet
6
n
the seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: see
1

v perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight

“You have to be a good observer to see all the details”
“Can you see the bird in that tree?”
“He is blind--he cannot see
Synonyms
catch, take in, view, watch
see or watch
Types:
glimpse
catch a glimpse of or see briefly
catch a glimpse, catch sight, get a look
see something for a brief time
behold, lay eyes on
see with attention
Type of:
comprehend, perceive
to become aware of through the senses

v observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect

“I must see your passport before you can enter the country”
Synonyms:
examine
Types:
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search
subject to a search
x-ray
examine by taking x-rays
candle
examine eggs for freshness by holding them against a light
autopsy
perform an autopsy on a dead body; do a post-mortem
auscultate
examine by auscultation
survey
look over carefully or inspect
glance over, rake, run down, scan, skim
examine hastily
scan
examine minutely or intensely
peruse
examine or consider with attention and in detail
scrutinise, scrutinize, size up, take stock
to look at critically or searchingly, or in minute detail
look, search
search or seek
inspect
look over carefully
check
make an examination or investigation
go over, review, survey
hold a review (of troops)
hunt
search (an area) for prey
raid
search for something needed or desired
frisk
search as for concealed weapons by running the hands rapidly over the clothing and through the pockets
strip-search
search (someone) for weapons or drugs by having the person remove their clothes
scan
make a wide, sweeping search of
go, rifle
go through in search of something; search through someone's belongings in an unauthorized way
rummage
search haphazardly
comb, ransack
search thoroughly
glass
scan (game in the forest) with binoculars
flick, flip, leaf, riff, riffle, thumb
look through a book or other written material
cruise
look for a sexual partner in a public place
prospect
search for something desirable
perambulate
make an official inspection on foot of (the bounds of a property)
case
look over, usually with the intention to rob
vet
examine carefully
overlook
watch over
horn in, intrude, nose, poke, pry
search or inquire in a meddlesome way
screen, test
test or examine for the presence of disease or infection
countercheck
check a second time
breathalyse, breathalyze
test someone's alcohol level in his blood by means of a breathalyzer

v see or watch

“This program will be seen all over the world”
see a movie”
Synonyms:
catch, take in, view, watch
Types:
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visualise, visualize
view the outline of by means of an X-ray
spectate
be a spectator in a sports event
preview
watch (a movie or play) before it is released to the general public
image
render visible, as by means of MRI
Type of:
watch
look attentively

v go to see a place, as for entertainment

“We went to see the Eiffel Tower in the morning”
Synonyms:
visit
Types:
take in
visit for entertainment
Type of:
tour
make a tour of a certain place

v see and understand, have a good eye

“The artist must first learn to see
Synonyms
realise, realize, understand
perceive (an idea or situation) mentally

v observe as if with an eye

“The camera saw the burglary and recorded it”
Type of:
detect, discover, find, notice, observe
discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
2

v come together

“I'll probably see you at the meeting”
“How nice to see you again!”
Synonyms:
come across, encounter, meet, run across, run into
assemble, foregather, forgather, gather, meet
collect in one place
Types:
cross, intersect
meet at a point
cross
meet and pass

v go to see for professional or business reasons

“You should see a lawyer”
“We had to see a psychiatrist”
Type of:
call, call in, visit
pay a brief visit

v go to see for a social visit

“I went to see my friend Mary the other day”
Synonyms
visit
go to see a place, as for entertainment
Type of:
call, call in, visit
pay a brief visit

v receive as a specified guest

“the doctor will see you now”
“The minister doesn't see anybody before noon”
Type of:
invite, receive, take in
express willingness to have in one's home or environs

v date regularly; have a steady relationship with

“Did you know that she is seeing an older man?”
Synonyms:
date, go out, go steady
date
go on a date with
Type of:
affiliate, associate, assort, consort
keep company with; hang out with
3

v perceive (an idea or situation) mentally

“Now I see!”
“I just can't see your point”
Synonyms:
realise, realize, understand
envision, fancy, figure, image, picture, project, visualise, visualize
imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
Types:
perceive
become conscious of
appreciate, take account
be fully aware of; realize fully
sense, smell, smell out
become aware of not through the senses but instinctively

v imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind

“I can't see him on horseback!”
“I can see what will happen”
“I can see a risk in this strategy”
Synonyms:
envision, fancy, figure, image, picture, project, visualise, visualize
realise, realize, understand
perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
visualise, visualize
form a mental picture of something that is invisible or abstract
Type of:
conceive of, envisage, ideate, imagine
form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case

v deem to be

“I don't see the situation quite as negatively as you do”
Synonyms:
consider, reckon, regard, view
construe, interpret
make sense of; assign a meaning to
Types:
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expect
consider reasonable or due
receive
regard favorably or with disapproval
reconsider
consider again; give new consideration to; usually with a view to changing
reconsider
consider again (a bill) that had been voted upon before, with a view to altering it
include
consider as part of something
consider
regard or treat with consideration, respect, and esteem
call
consider or regard as being
like
feel about or towards; consider, evaluate, or regard
relativise, relativize
consider or treat as relative
identify
consider (oneself) as similar to somebody else
favor, favour
consider as the favorite
abstract
consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
reify
consider an abstract concept to be real
idealise, idealize
consider or render as ideal
deem, hold, take for, view as
keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
esteem, prise, prize, respect, value
regard highly; think much of
disesteem, disrespect
have little or no respect for; hold in contempt
make
consider as being
capitalise, capitalize
consider expenditures as capital assets rather than expenses
appreciate, prize, treasure, value
hold dear
do justice
show due and full appreciation
count
include as if by counting
colligate, subsume
consider (an instance of something) as part of a general rule or principle
hypostatise, hypostatize
construe as a real existence, of a conceptual entity
glamorize, glamourise, romanticise, romanticize
interpret romantically
deify
consider as a god or godlike
think the world of
esteem very highly
undervalue
esteem lightly
carry
include, as on a list
fear, revere, reverence, venerate
regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of
admire, look up to
feel admiration for
recognise, recognize
show approval or appreciation of
Type of:
believe, conceive, consider, think
judge or regard; look upon; judge

v find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort

“I want to see whether she speaks French”
See whether it works”
Synonyms:
ascertain, check, determine, find out, learn, watch
ascertain, assure, check, control, ensure, insure, see to it
be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
ascertain, determine, find, find out
establish after a calculation, investigation, experiment, survey, or study
Types:
test
determine the presence or properties of (a substance)

v get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally

“I see that you have been promoted”
Synonyms:
discover, find out, get a line, get wind, get word, hear, learn, pick up
find, witness
perceive or be contemporaneous with
Types:
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get the goods
discover some bad or hidden information about
wise up
get wise to
catch, trip up
detect a blunder or misstep
ascertain
learn or discover with certainty
discover, find
make a discovery
rake up
bring to light
price
ascertain or learn the price of
ferret, ferret out
search and discover through persistent investigation

v make sense of; assign a meaning to

“What message do you see in this letter?”
Synonyms:
construe, interpret
consider, reckon, regard, view
deem to be
Types:
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be amiss, misapprehend, misconceive, misconstrue, misinterpret, misunderstand
interpret in the wrong way
read between the lines
read what is implied but not expressed on the surface
mythicise, mythicize
interpret as a myth or in terms of mythology
literalise, literalize
make literal
spiritualise, spiritualize
give a spiritual meaning to; read in a spiritual sense
reinterpret
assign a new or different meaning to
allegorise, allegorize
interpret as an allegory
read, take
interpret something in a certain way; convey a particular meaning or impression
read
interpret something that is written or printed
read, scan
obtain data from magnetic tapes
draw out, educe, elicit, evoke, extract
deduce (a principle) or construe (a meaning)
misinterpret, misread
interpret wrongly
anagram, anagrammatise, anagrammatize
read letters out of order to discover a hidden meaning
reread
read anew; read again
dip into
read selectively; read only certain passages from a text
decipher, trace
read with difficulty
misread
read or interpret wrongly
skim, skim over
read superficially
lip-read, lipread, speech-read
interpret by lipreading; of deaf people
Type of:
understand
know and comprehend the nature or meaning of

v deliberate or decide

See whether you can come tomorrow”
“let's see--which movie should we see tonight?”
Type of:
consider, debate, deliberate, moot, turn over
think about carefully; weigh

v go or live through

“he saw action in Viet Nam”
Synonyms:
experience, go through
Types:
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experience, know, live
have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations
endure, suffer
undergo or be subjected to
meet, suffer
undergo or suffer
feel
undergo passive experience of:"We felt the effects of inflation"
enjoy
have for one's benefit
find, witness
perceive or be contemporaneous with
come
experience orgasm
taste
experience briefly
live over, relive
experience again, often in the imagination
catch
become aware of
tolerate
have a tolerance for a poison or strong drug or pathogen or environmental condition
die
suffer or face the pain of death
Type of:
undergo
pass through

v perceive or be contemporaneous with

“You'll see a lot of cheating in this school”
“The 1960's saw the rebellion of the younger generation against established traditions”
“I want to see results”
Synonyms:
find, witness
discover, find out, get a line, get wind, get word, hear, learn, pick up
get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally
find
perceive oneself to be in a certain condition or place
Types:
catch
become aware of
Type of:
experience, go through
go or live through
4

v take charge of or deal with

“Could you see about lunch?”
Synonyms:
attend, look, take care
Types:
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minister
attend to the wants and needs of others
tend
have care of or look after
garden
work in the garden
shepherd
tend as a shepherd, as of sheep or goats
Type of:
care, give care
provide care for

v be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something

See that the curtains are closed”
Synonyms:
ascertain, assure, check, control, ensure, insure, see to it
check, check off, mark, mark off, tick, tick off
put a check mark on or near or next to
check
verify by consulting a source or authority
ascertain, check, determine, find out, learn, watch
find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort
control, verify
check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard
Types:
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proof, proofread
read for errors
control
verify by using a duplicate register for comparison
double-check
check once more to be absolutely sure
cross-check
check out conflicting sources; crosscheck facts, for example
cinch
make sure of
card
ask someone for identification to determine whether he or she is old enough to consume liquor
spot-check
pick out random samples for examination in order to ensure high quality
cover
maintain a check on; especially by patrolling
Type of:
verify
confirm the truth of

v accompany or escort

“I'll see you to the door”
Synonyms:
escort
Type of:
accompany
go or travel along with
5

v match or meet

“I saw the bet of one of my fellow players”
Type of:
bet, play, wager
stake on the outcome of an issue
6

n the seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located

Examples:
State of the Vatican City
the smallest sovereign state in the world; the see of the Pope (as the Bishop of Rome); home of the Pope and the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church; achieved independence from Italy in 1929
Type of:
seat
a center of authority (as a city from which authority is exercised)
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