see through

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See also: seethrough and see-through



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see through (third-person singular simple present sees through, present participle seeing through, simple past saw through, past participle seen through)

  1. (transitive) To perceive visually through something transparent.
    Their fabric is so thin that I can see through these curtains.
    We saw through the water with ease; it was as clear as glass.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To not be deceived by something that is false or misleading; to understand the hidden truth about someone or something.
    I'm surprised she doesn't see through his lies.
    I can see through his poker face. He isn't fooling anyone.
    • 2010, Michael E. Bernard, Rationality and the Pursuit of Happiness: The Legacy of Albert Ellis:
      Now, when you awfulize you go beyond that and tell yourself, instead “It's horrible, awful and terrible!” You then mean several things, all of which are clearly unprovable and which any self-respecting Martian with an IQ of 100 could easily see through.
  3. (transitive, idiomatic) To recognize someone's true motives or character.
    In that moment, I finally saw through her; this petition drive had nothing to do with her love for animals, and everything to do with impressing Michael, the cute intern.
  4. (transitive, idiomatic) To provide support or cooperation to (a person) throughout a period of time; to support someone through a difficult time.
    And may we all, citizens the world over, see these events through.
  5. (transitive, idiomatic) To do something until it is finished; to continue working on (something) until it is finished.
    Synonym: see out
    Coordinate term: carry out
    Despite her health problems, Madame Prime Minister saw the project through.
    • 2022 January 12, Sir Michael Holden, “Reform of the workforce or death by a thousand cuts?”, in RAIL, number 948, page 25:
      But if the Government really wants our railway to reduce the level of its subsidy and improve value for taxpayers' money, then it must provide the political air cover to enable managers to get on and make the hard decisions that are needed... and then see them through.
  6. (transitive, idiomatic) To constitute ample supply for one for.
    Those chocolates should see us through the holiday season.

Usage notes[edit]

The word order is important. Some senses use see ... through, while others use see through ..., and these are not flexible.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]