see1 W1S1 [si:] v past tense saw [so: US so:] past participle seen [si:n]
2¦(notice something is true)¦
3¦(ability to see)¦
4¦(find out information)¦
5¦(in the future)¦
6¦(where information is)¦
9¦(consider something)¦
10 see what somebody/something can do
11 I'll see what I can do
12 see you
14¦(meet by chance)¦
15¦(have a meeting)¦
16¦(spend time with somebody)¦
17 be seeing somebody
19 seeing as (how)
20 be seen to be doing something
21 see something for what it is
22¦(make sure)¦
23¦(experience something)¦
25 let me see
26 I don't see why not
27¦(go with somebody)¦
28 be seeing things
29 see double
30 have seen better days
31 be glad/pleased etc to see the back of somebody/something
32 see the last of somebody/something
33 see the light
34 see the light of day
35 see red
36 not see somebody for dust
37 see eye to eye
38 seen one ... seen them all
39 see your way (clear) to doing something
40 (see and) be seen
41 not see the wood for the trees
42 see something coming
43 see somebody coming (a mile off)
44 see somebody right
45 not see that it matters
46¦(game of cards)¦
Phrasal verbs
 see about something
 see something against something
 see around
 see in
 see somebody/something<=>off
 see somebody/something out
 see over something
 see through
 see to somebody/something
[: Old English; Origin: seon]
1.) ¦(NOTICE/EXAMINE)¦ [T not in progressive]
to notice or examine someone or something, using your eyes
The moment we saw the house, we knew we wanted to buy it.
He crouched down so he couldn't be seen.
Can I see your ticket, please?
I saw the offer advertised in the newspaper.
can/can't see
You can see the Houses of Parliament from here.
see where/what/who etc
Can you see where the marks are on the wall?
see (that)
He saw that she was crying.
see sb/sth do sth
I saw him leave a few minutes ago.
see sb/sth doing sth
The suspect was seen entering the building.
As you can see, the house needs some work doing on it.
Have you seen Chris (=do you know where he is) ?
The accommodation was so awful, it had to be seen to be believed (=you would not believe it if you did not see it yourself) .
2.) ¦(NOTICE SOMETHING IS TRUE)¦ [T not in progressive]
to notice that something is happening or that something is true
More money must be invested if we are to see an improvement in services.
After a month's practice, you should see a difference in your playing.
Seeing his distress, Louise put her arm around him.
I would like to see changes in the way the course is run.
'You're not denying it, I see,' he said coldly.
see (that)
I can see you're not very happy with the situation.
3.) ¦(ABILITY TO SEE)¦ [I,T not in progressive]
to be able to use your eyes to look at things and know what they are
can/can't see
From the tower, you can see for miles.
I can't see a thing without my glasses.
not see to do sth
His eyes are so bad that he can't see to read any more.
to find out information or a fact
see what/how/when etc
I'll call him and see how the job interview went.
She went outside to see what was happening.
see if/whether
I've just come to see if you want to go out for a drink.
These chocolates are gorgeous. Try some and see for yourself (=find out if it is true) .
By looking at this leaflet, you can see at a glance (=find out very easily) how much a loan will cost.
it can be seen that/we can see that
From this graph, it can be seen that some people are more susceptible to the disease.
As we have seen in chapter 4, women's pay is generally less than men's.
5.) ¦(IN THE FUTURE)¦ [I and T]
to find out about something in the future
see if/whether
It will be interesting to see if he makes it into the team.
see how/what/when etc
I might come - I'll see how I feel tomorrow.
Let's try it and see what happens.
'Can we go to the zoo, Dad?' ' We'll see .' (=used when you do not want to make a decision immediately)
'How long can you stay?' ' I'll have to see . It depends (=used when you cannot make a decision immediately) .'
We'll just have to wait and see .
see how it goes/see how things go
(=used when you are going to do something and will deal with problems if they happen)
I don't know. We'll just have to see how it goes on Sunday.
Things will work out, you'll see (=you will find out that I am right) .
6.) ¦(WHERE INFORMATION IS)¦ [T only in imperative]
especially written used to tell you where you can find information
See p.58.
See press for details.
see above/below
The results are shown in Table 7a (see below).
7.) ¦(UNDERSTAND)¦ [I and T]
to understand or realize something
see why/what/how etc
I can't see why he's so upset.
I see what you mean (=I understand what you are saying) .
'He lives here but works in London during the week.' 'Oh, I see (=I understand) .'
You see , the thing is, I'm really busy right now (=used when you are explaining something) .
You mix the flour and eggs like this, see (=used to check that someone is listening and understands) .
I can't see the point of (=I do not understand the reason for) spending so much money on a car.
Do you see the point I'm making (=do you understand what I'm trying to say) ?
The other officers laughed but Nichols couldn't see the joke .
see reason/sense
(=realize that you are wrong or doing something stupid)
I just can't get her to see reason!
8.) ¦(WATCH)¦ [T]
to watch a television programme, play, film etc
Did you see that programme on monkeys last night?
We're going to see 'Romeo and Juliet' tonight.
to think about or consider someone or something in a particular way, or as having particular qualities
Having a child makes you see things differently.
Violence is seen in different ways by different people.
as sb sees it/the way sb sees it
(=used to give someone's opinion)
As I see it, you don't have any choice.
The way I see it, we have two options.
see sb/sth as sth
I see the job as a challenge.
see yourself as sth
He saw himself as a failure.
be seen as (being) sth
The peace talks are seen as a sign of hope.
This type of work is often seen as boring.
be seen to be sth
Sexual discrimination is seen to be an important factor in discouraging women from careers in engineering.
Teachers need to be seen to be in control.
10.) see what sb/sth can do
a) to find out if someone can deal with a situation or problem
see what somebody/something can do about
I'll call them again and see what they can do about it.
b) to find out how good someone or something is at what they are supposed to be able to do
Let's take the Porsche out to the racetrack and see what it can do!
11.) I'll see what I can do
spoken used to say that you will try to help someone
Leave the papers with me and I'll see what I can do.
12.) see you
spoken used to say goodbye when you know you will see someone again
see you tomorrow/at 3/Sunday etc
See you Friday - your place at 8:30.
see you later
(=see you soon, or later in the same day)
see you in a bit
BrE (=see you soon)
see you in a while
(=see you soon)
(I'll) be seeing you!
(=see you soon)
13.) ¦(VISIT)¦ [T]
to visit or meet someone
I'll be seeing her tomorrow night.
I haven't seen her since we left school.
She's too sick to see anyone right now.
14.) ¦(MEET BY CHANCE)¦ [T not in progressive]
to meet someone by chance
I saw Jane while I was out.
15.) ¦(HAVE A MEETING)¦ [T]
to have an arranged meeting with someone
Mr Thomas is seeing a client at 2:30.
She was seen by a doctor but didn't need hospital treatment.
see sb about sth
(=see someone to discuss something)
I have to see my teacher about my grades.
to spend time with someone
They've been seeing a lot of each other.
see more/less of sb
(=see someone more or less often)
They've seen more of each other since Dan moved to London.
17.) be seeing sb
to be having a romantic relationship with someone
Is she seeing anyone at the moment?
18.) ¦(IMAGINE)¦ [T not in progressive]
to imagine that something may happen in the future
He could see a great future for her in music.
can't see sb/sth doing sth
I can't see him winning, can you?
She's got a new book coming out but I can't see it doing very well.
see sb as sth
(=be able to imagine someone being something)
I just can't see her as a ballet dancer.
19.) seeing as (how)
informal also seeing that
used before giving a reason for what you are saying
'I might as well do something useful, seeing as I'm back,' she said.
20.) be seen to be doing sth
to make sure that other people notice you working hard or doing something good
The government must be seen to be doing something about the rise in violent crime.
21.) see sth for what it is also see sb for what they are
to realize that someone or something is not as good or nice as they seem
They are unimpressed with the scheme and rightly see it for what it is.
22.) ¦(MAKE SURE)¦ [T not in progressive]
to make sure or check that something is done
see (that)
It's up to you to see that the job's done properly.
Please see that the lights are switched off before you leave.
Don't worry - I'll see to it .
The hotel's owners see to it that their guests are given every luxury.
23.) ¦(EXPERIENCE SOMETHING)¦ [T not in progressive]
to experience something
She was so sick that doctors didn't think she'd live to see her first birthday.
I never thought I'd live to see the day when women became priests.
She's seen it all before (=have experienced so much that nothing surprises you) in her long career.
been there, seen that, done that atbeen
24.) ¦(TIME/PLACE)¦ [T]
if a time or place has seen a particular event or situation, it happened or existed in that time or place
This year has seen a big increase in road accidents.
The city has seen plenty of violence over the years.
25.) let me see also let's see
spoken used when you are trying to remember something
Let me see ... where did I put that letter?
26.) I don't see why not
spoken used to say 'yes' in answer to a request
'Can we go to the park?' 'I don't see why not.'
27.) ¦(GO WITH SOMEBODY)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition]
to go somewhere with someone to make sure they are safe
My mother used to see me across the road.
I'll get Nick to see you home .
Let me see you to the door (=go with you to the door, to say goodbye) .
28.) be seeing things
to imagine that you see someone or something which is not really there
There's no one there - you must be seeing things.
29.) see double
if you see double, something is wrong with your eyes, so that you see two things when there is only one
30.) have seen better days informal
to be in a bad condition
Her hat had seen better days.
31.) be glad/pleased etc to see the back of sb/sth
BrE spoken to be pleased when someone leaves or when you get rid of something, because you do not like them
I'll be glad to see the back of him.
I won't be sorry to see the back of this place.
32.) see the last of sb/sth
a) to not see someone or something again, especially someone or something you do not like
I thought we'd seen the last of him.
It was a relief to see the last of them.
b) to not have to deal with something any more
Police had hoped they'd seen the last of the joyriding.
We may not have seen the last of this controversy.
33.) see the light
a) to realize that something is true
She finally saw the light and ended the relationship.
b) to have a special experience that makes you believe in a religion
34.) see the light of day
a) if something sees the light of day, it is brought out so that people can see it
This decision will ensure that the Pentagon Papers never see the light of day.
b) to start to exist
This type of PC first saw the light of day in 1981.
35.) see red
to become very angry
The thought of Pierre with Nicole had made her see red.
36.) not see sb for dust
BrE informal if you do not see someone for dust, they leave a place very quickly in order to avoid something
37.) see eye to eye [usually in negatives]
if two people see eye to eye, they agree with each other
We didn't exactly see eye to eye.
see eye to eye with
I don't always see eye to eye with my father.
see eye to eye on/about
We don't see eye to eye on business issues.
38.) seen one ... seen them all informal
used to say that something is boring because it is very similar to other things
When you've seen one of these programmes, you've seen them all.
39.) see your way (clear) to doing sth
formal to be able and willing to do something
Small companies cannot see their way to taking on many trainees.
40.) (see and) be seen
to look at or be noticed by important or fashionable people
Royal Ascot is the place to see and be seen.
41.) not see the wood for the trees also not see the forest for the trees AmE
to be unable to understand what is important in a situation because you are thinking too much about small details rather than the whole situation
42.) see sth coming
to realize that there is going to be a problem before it actually happens
John's going to have a lot of trouble with him. You can see it coming.
43.) see sb coming (a mile off)
BrE spoken to recognize that someone will be easy to trick or deceive
You paid £500 for that! They must have seen you coming!
44.) see sb right
BrE spoken to make sure that someone gets what they need or want, especially money
Just do this for me and I'll see you right.
Tell the landlord I sent you and he'll see you right.
45.) not see that it matters
spoken to think that something is not important
I can't see that it matters what I think.
46.) ¦(GAME OF CARDS)¦ [T]
to risk the same amount of money as your opponent in a ↑card game
it remains to be seen atremain, see fit (to do sth) atfit2 (3), wouldn't be seen dead atdead1 (12)
see about [see about sth] phr v
1.) to make arrangements or deal with something
I'd better see about dinner.
see about doing sth
Claire's gone to see about getting tickets for the concert.
2.) we'll see about that
a) also we'll have to see about that
used to say that you do not know if something will be possible
'I want to go to Joshua's tonight.' 'Well, we'll have to see about that.'
b) also we'll soon see about that
used to say that you intend to stop someone from doing what they were planning to do
see against [see sth against sth] phr v
to consider something together with something else
The unemployment data must be seen against the background of world recession.
see around phr v
1.) see sb around
to notice someone regularly in places you go to, but not talk to them
I don't know who he is but I've seen him around.
2.) see you around
spoken used to say goodbye to someone when you have not made a definite arrangement to meet again
3.) see around/round sth
BrE to visit a place and walk around looking at it
Would you like to see round the house?
see in phr v
1.) not know what sb sees in sb also what does sb see in sb?
used to say that you do not know why someone likes someone else
I don't know what she sees in him.
2.) see sth in sb/sth
to notice a particular quality in someone or something that makes you like them
He saw a gentleness in Susan.
3.) see sb in
to go with someone to make sure they arrive at a building or room
He took her home and after seeing her in, drove off without a word.
4.) see in the New Year
to celebrate the beginning of a new year
see off [see sb/sth<=>off] phr v
1.) to defeat someone or stop them from competing against you
To see off the threat, the company will have to cut its prices still further.
The team saw off their old rivals in last night's championship game.
2.) to go to an airport, train station etc to say goodbye to someone
They've gone to the airport to see their son off.
3.) also see sb off sth
to force someone to leave a place
Security guards saw him off the premises.
see out [see sb/sth out] phr v
1.) to go to the door with someone to say goodbye to them when they leave
I'll see you out.
Don't worry, I can see myself out (=leave the building without anyone coming with me) .
2.) see sth<=>out
to continue doing something or being somewhere until a particular period of time or an unpleasant event is finished
Connolly has promised to see out the remaining 18 months of his contract.
She saw out her last years at Sudeley Castle.
see over [see over sth] phr v
to look at something large such as a house, especially in order to decide if you want to buy it
see through phr v
1.) see through sb/sth
to realize that someone is trying to deceive you
I saw through his excuses.
I could never lie to her because I know she'd see through me straight away.
I can't bluff - she'd see right through me .
2.) see sth through
to continue doing something until it is finished, especially something difficult or unpleasant
It'll take a lot of effort to see the project through.
3.) see sb through (sth)
to give help and support to someone during a difficult time
Setting goals should help see you through.
I've got enough money to see me through six months of unemployment.
4.) see sth through sb's eyes
to see something or think about it in the way that someone else does
The world is very different when seen through the eyes of a child.
see to / [see to sb/sth] phr v
to deal with something or do something for someone
Go on, you go out. I'll see to the washing up.
have/get sth seen to
You should get that tooth seen to by a dentist.
WORD CHOICE: see, watch, look at
See means to notice something with your eyes, either deliberately or accidentally : I saw a great film last week. | A few people saw him take the bag.
Watch means to deliberately pay attention to something for quite a long time : They were all watching the game on TV. |He watched her leave.
When you look at something, you deliberately turn your eyes towards it in order to see it : There was a loud noise and everyone looked at the screen.
!! You can see something on television or watch television, but do not say 'see television' : After I finish my homework I usually watch television.
see 2
see2 n
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: se, from Latin sedes 'seat']
an area governed by a ↑bishop

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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