sight

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English siȝht, siȝt, siht, from Old English siht, sihþ (something seen; vision), from Proto-West Germanic *sihti, equivalent to see +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots sicht, Saterland Frisian Sicht, West Frisian sicht, Dutch zicht, German Low German Sicht, German Sicht, Danish sigte, Swedish sikte.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

sight (countable and uncountable, plural sights)

  1. (in the singular) The ability to see.
    He is losing his sight and now can barely read.
  2. The act of seeing; perception of objects by the eye; view.
    to gain sight of land
  3. Something seen.
    • 2005, Lesley Brown (translator), Plato (author), Sophist, 236d:
      He's a really remarkable man and it's very hard to get him in one's sights; []
  4. Something worth seeing; a spectacle, either good or bad.
    We went to London and saw all the sights – Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and so on.
    You really look a sight in that ridiculous costume!
  5. A device used in aiming a projectile, through which the person aiming looks at the intended target.
  6. A small aperture through which objects are to be seen, and by which their direction is settled or ascertained.
    the sight of a quadrant
  7. (now colloquial) a great deal, a lot; frequently used to intensify a comparative.
    a sight of money
    This is a darn sight better than what I'm used to at home!
  8. In a drawing, picture, etc., that part of the surface, as of paper or canvas, which is within the frame or the border or margin. In a frame, the open space, the opening.
  9. (obsolete) The instrument of seeing; the eye.
  10. Mental view; opinion; judgment.
    In their sight it was harmless.

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Verb[edit]

sight (third-person singular simple present sights, present participle sighting, simple past and past participle sighted)

  1. (transitive) To see; to get sight of (something); to register visually.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I was on my way to the door, but all at once, through the fog in my head, I began to sight one reef that I hadn't paid any attention to afore.
    to sight land from a ship
    1. (transitive) To observe though, or as if through, a sight, to check the elevation, direction, levelness, or other characteristics of, especially when surveying or navigating.
      • 1912, John Herbert Farrell; Alfred Joseph Moses, Practical Field Geology, page 30:
        Next a point of known elevation, preferably one of the triangulation stations, is sighted; the vertical angle is read and the horizontal distance is scaled from the point of the setup on the map to the point sighted.
  2. (transitive) To apply sights to; to adjust the sights of.
    to sight a rifle or a cannon
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To observe or aim (at something) using a (gun) sight.
    • 2005 August 2, C. J. Cherryh, The Deep Beyond, Penguin, →ISBN:
      Jim braced the gun and sighted, tried to pull the trigger. Beside him a body collapsed, limp. It was Max. A shot had gone through his brain. Jim stared down at him, numb with horror.
    • 2009, James Wright, FBI: Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity : an Autobiography, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 27:
      So I sighted the deer with my .30—30 and fired at him. The bullet hit about ten yards below the deer. I realized that I had a problem with the gun so I aimed about ten yards above the deer as he was running and he dropped dead on the [spot].
    • 2010 October 6, Bryce M. Towsley, Gunsmithing Made Easy: Projects for the Home Gunsmith, Skyhorse Publishing Inc., →ISBN:
      This buck was finally mine. I had spent hours shooting at moving targets with that rifle and there was no way I could miss. I raised my gun and sighted through the scope.

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Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

sight

  1. a great deal, a lot