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.

Definitions of see
  1. verb
    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
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    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
    become aware of through the senses
  2. verb
    observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
    “I must see your passport before you can enter the country”
    synonyms: examine
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    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
    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
    delve
    search for something in a receptacle or container
  3. verb
    see or watch
    “This program will be seen all over the world”
    see a movie”
    synonyms: catch, take in, view, watch
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    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
    preview
    see or inspect in a preliminary way or in advance
    image
    render visible, as by means of MRI
    type of:
    watch
    look attentively
  4. verb
    go to see a place, as for entertainment
    “We went to see the Eiffel Tower in the morning”
    synonyms: visit
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    types:
    take in
    visit for entertainment
    type of:
    tour
    make a tour of a certain place
  5. verb
    see and understand, have a good eye
    “The artist must first learn to see
    Synonyms:
    realise, realize, understand
    perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
  6. verb
    observe as if with an eye
    “The camera saw the burglary and recorded it”
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    type of:
    detect, discover, find, notice, observe
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
  7. verb
    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
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    types:
    cross, intersect
    meet at a point
    cross
    meet and pass
  8. verb
    go to see for professional or business reasons
    “You should see a lawyer”
    “We had to see a psychiatrist”
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    type of:
    call, call in, visit
    pay a brief visit
  9. verb
    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
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    type of:
    call, call in, visit
    pay a brief visit
  10. verb
    receive as a specified guest
    “the doctor will see you now”
    “The minister doesn't see anybody before noon”
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    type of:
    invite, receive, take in
    express willingness to have in one's home or environs
  11. verb
    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
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    type of:
    affiliate, associate, assort, consort
    keep company with; hang out with
  12. verb
    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
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    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
  13. verb
    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
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    type of:
    conceive of, envisage, ideate, imagine
    form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case
  14. verb
    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
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    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
  15. verb
    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
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    types:
    test
    determine the presence or properties of (a substance)
  16. verb
    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
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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
  17. verb
    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
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    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
  18. verb
    deliberate or decide
    See whether you can come tomorrow”
    “let's see--which movie should we see tonight?”
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    type of:
    consider, debate, deliberate, moot, turn over
    think about carefully; weigh
  19. verb
    go or live through
    “he saw action in Viet Nam”
    synonyms: experience, go through
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    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
    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
  20. verb
    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
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    types:
    catch
    become aware of
    type of:
    experience, go through
    go or live through
  21. verb
    take charge of or deal with
    “Could you see about lunch?”
    synonyms: attend, look, take care
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    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
  22. verb
    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
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    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
  23. verb
    accompany or escort
    “I'll see you to the door”
    synonyms: escort, usher
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    type of:
    accompany
    go or travel along with
  24. verb
    match or meet
    “I saw the bet of one of my fellow players”
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    type of:
    bet, play, wager
    stake on the outcome of an issue
  25. noun
    the seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located
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    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)
Word Family