1 /si:/ verb past tense saw past participle seen /si:n/ UNDERSTAND/REALIZE
1 (I, T) to understand or realize something: I can see that you're not very happy with the situation. | Seeing his distress, Louise put her arm around him.
(+ why/what/who etc): “Ann's really fed up.” “I can see why!” | see what sb means usually spoken (=understand what someone is saying): Do you see what I mean? | see the point (=understand the reason for something): I can't see the point of learning Latin when you're never going to use it. | see both sides (=understand both opinions in a discussion or argument) | not see that it matters (=not think something is important): The recipe says to use fresh cream, but I can't see that it matters. | not see the joke (=not understand why something is funny): Ian laughed politely even though he couldn't see the joke. | not see reason/sense (=realize you are being silly or unreasonable): I've tried to explain that we can't afford it, but he just won't see reason.
2 I see spoken used to show that you are listening to what someone is telling you and that you understand it: “You turn this dial to control the central heating.” “Oh, I see.”
3 you see spoken used when you are explaining something to someone: The shop's open till 8 you see, so I can pick some stuff up after work. | You see the thing is I'm really busy right now.
4 see spoken used to check that someone is listening and understands what you are explaining to them: You mix the flour and eggs like this, see.
5 see sth for what it is/see sb for what they are to realize that someone or something is not as good or pleasant as they seem
6 not see the wood for the trees also not see the forest for the trees AmE to be unable to understand something because you are looking too much at small details rather than the whole thing
7 ABILITY TO SEE (intransitive, transitive not in progressive) to be able to use your eyes to look at things and know what they are: I can't see a thing without my glasses! | not see to do sth: It's so dark I can hardly see to do my work.
8 NOTICE/EXAMINE (transitive not in progressive) to notice, examine, or recognize someone or something by looking: Can I see your ticket, please. | You see a lot of men with long hair these days.
(+ where/what/who): Can you see where I put my pen? | see that: They could see that he had been crying. | see sb/sth doing sth: I see the neighbours are having a barbecue again. | The suspect was seen entering the building at 1500 hours. | see sb/sth do sth: Pat thought he saw her drive off about an hour later. (+ if/whether): Nick went out to see if the pond had frozen over. | see sb around (=notice someone regularly in places you go to without knowing them): I don't know his name but I've seen him around.
9 see a film/movie/play to watch a film etc: I saw a really good movie last night.
10 TELEVISION (transitive not in progressive) to watch a particular programme on television: Did you see the game last night?
11 FIND INFORMATION (transitive only in imperative) 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).
12 be seen to look at or be noticed by people who are important in society: Royal Ascot is the place to be seen.
13 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.
14 (T) to find out information or a fact
(+ what/when/who/how etc): Can you see who's at the door. (+ if/whether): Sharon! See if there's any beer in the fridge! | an experiment to see whether the new material melts at high temperatures | see for yourself (=used to tell someone to look at something so that they can find out if it is true): If you don't believe me, see for yourself.
15 see what sb/sth can do spoken
a) to find out if you can deal with a situation or problem
(+ about): I'll see what I can do about speeding up the process.
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!
16 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 in a bit BrE (=see you soon) | see you in a while (=see you soon) AmE | (I'll) be seeing you! (=see you soon)
17 see you around spoken used to say goodbye to someone when you have not made a definite arrangement to meet again
18 see you later spoken used to say goodbye to someone when you are going to see them again soon or later in the same day
19 VISIT/MEET SB (T) to visit or meet someone: We're going to see Lucy after work. | see you (=I will meet you): See you at 8 at Bear's Place.
20 HAVE A MEETING (T) to have an arranged meeting with someone: Mr Thomas is seeing a client at 2:30. | see sb about sth (=see someone to discuss something): I have to see my teacher about my grades.
21 BY CHANCE (transitive, not in progressive) to meet someone by chance: I saw Penny in town today.
22 SPEND TIME WITH SB (T) to spend time with someone: Do you still see any of your old college friends? | see a lot of sb (=see someone often): She's been seeing a lot of John recently. | see more/less of sb (=see someone more or less often): They've seen much more of each other since Dan moved to London.
23 HAVE A VISIT (T) to have a visit from someone: She's too sick to see anyone at the moment.
24 be seeing sb to be having a romantic relationship with someone: Is she seeing anyone at the moment?
25 see sb/sth as sth to consider something to be a particular thing or to have a particular quality: Jake saw any man who spoke to his wife as a potential threat. | be seen as sth: America is seen as the land of opportunity.
26 CONSIDER STH IN A PARTICULAR WAY (transitive always + adv/prep) to regard or consider something in a particular way: He sees things differently now that he's in management. | as sb sees it (=according to someone's opinion of a situation): As they see it, I'm the one to blame. | the way I see it spoken: Well, the way I see it, nothing's really going to change around here. | see fit (to do sth) (=consider an action to be right and sensible): You must do whatever you see fit.
27 seeing that considering that: She writes very well seeing that English isn't her first language.
28 (be) seen against sth to be considered together with something else: The unemployment data must be seen against the backdrop of world recession.
29 (I, T) to find out about something in the future
(+ if/whether): It will be interesting to see whether Glenn gets the job. (+ how/what/when etc): I might come - I'll see how I feel tomorrow. | we'll see spoken (=used when you do not want to make a decision immediately): “Can we go to the zoo, Dad?” “We'll see.” | I'll/we'll have to see (=used when you cannot make a decision immediately): I don't know if I can lend you that much - I'll have to see. | wait and see spoken: We'll just have to wait and see. | see how it goes/see how things go usually spoken (=used when you are going to do something and will deal with problems as they appear) | you'll see spoken (=used to tell someone that something will happen in the way you have described it): I'll do better than any of them, you'll see.
30 see sth coming to realize that there is going to be a problem before it actually happens: We should really have seen this mess coming.
31 (transitive not in progressive) to form a picture of something or someone in your mind; imagine (1): He could see a great future for her in music. | can't see sth (=think that something is unlikely to happen or be true): Stuart thinks the car will go, but I can't see it myself. | see sb as sth (=be able to imagine someone being something): I just can't see her as a ballet dancer.
32 be seeing things to imagine that you see something which is not really there: There's no one there - you must have been seeing things.
33 (transitive not in progressive) to make sure or check that something is done correctly: see that: It's up to you to see that the job's done properly. | see to it (=make sure that something is done): Don't worry - I'll see to it.
34 WARNING (transitive, only in imperative) used as a warning that something is important and must be done: see (that): Please see that the room is straightened up before you leave.
35 PERSON (transitive not in progressive) to have experience of something: We've seen some good times together, Dave and I. | have seen it all (before) (=to have experienced something before, especially so that there is nothing else for you to learn about it)
—see also (been there), seen that, done that been (3)
36 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.
37 see sb across the road to help someone to cross a road safely
38 see sb home to go with someone when they go home to make sure that they are safe: Wait a minute! I'll get Nick to see you home.
39 see sb to the door to go to the door with someone when they leave your house, to say goodbye to them
40 let me see/let's see spoken used to show that you are trying to remember something: Let me see...where did I put that letter?
41 seeing as/how/that spoken an expression meaning because, used especially when a situation makes you decide or suggest something that you had not intended: Seeing as you're going into town, can you get a few things for me? | seeing (as) it's you humorous (=used to say that you are treating someone especially well because you like them)
42 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.”
43 have seen better days informal to be in a bad condition: This coat has seen better days.
44 see the back of sb spoken used to say that you will be happy when someone leaves because you do not like them: I can't wait to see the back of him.
45 see the last of sb/sth to not see someone or something again because they have gone or are finished: By Friday we should be seeing the last of the rain for a while.
46 see the light
a) to realize that something is true
b) to have a special experience that makes you believe in a religion
c) also see the light of day to exist or first appear: The book that she had planned to write never saw the light of day.
47 I'll see what I can do spoken used to say that you will try to help someone: Leave the ones you haven't done with me, and I'll see what I can do.
48 see your way (clear) to spoken to be able and willing to help someone: I think I could see my way to lending you a little.
49 see sb coming (a mile off) spoken to recognize that someone will be easy to trick or deceive: You paid -500 for that! They must have seen you coming!
50 not see beyond the end of your nose to be so concerned with yourself and what you are doing that you do not realize what is happening to other people around you
51 see sb right BrE spoken to make sure that someone is properly rewarded: Just do this for me and I'll see you right.
52 GAME OF CARDS to risk the same amount of money as your opponent in a card 1 (7) game
see about sth phrasal verb (T)
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 that concert.
2 we'll have to see about that spoken used to say that you do not know if something will be possible: “The school trip's really cheap and Dad says I can go.” “We'll have to see about that!”
3 we'll soon see about that spoken used to say that you intend to stop someone doing something they are planning to do
see around also see round BrE phrasal verb (T) to visit a place and walk around looking at it: Would you like to see around the old castle? see in phrasal verb
1 (transitive see something in someone/something) to notice a particular quality in someone or something that makes you like them: He saw a gentleness in Susan. | not know what sb sees in sb spoken (=not know why someone likes someone): I really don't know what she sees in him!
2 (transitive see someone in) to show a visitor the way when they arrive at a building: Will you see the guests in when they arrive?
3 (I) to be able to see into someone's house: Close the curtains so that no one can see in while I dress.
4 see in the new year to celebrate the beginning of a new year
see sb/sth off phrasal verb (T)
1 to go to an airport, train station etc to say goodbye to someone: I think they've gone to the airport to see their daughter off.
2 to chase someone away, or make someone leave an area: Security guards saw him off the premises.
3 to defend yourself successfully in a fight or battle, or beat an opponent in a game: see off the competition: They saw off the competition to become the nation's number one bestseller.
4 BrE slang to kill someone
see sb/sth out phrasal verb (T)
1 to go to the door with someone to say goodbye to them when they leave: I'll see myself out spoken (=used to tell someone they do not have to come to the door with you)
2 to continue to do something until it finishes, even if you do not like doing it: I don't enjoy the course but I'll see it out.
see over sth phrasal verb (T) BrE to examine something large such as a house, especially when you are considering buying it see through phrasal verb (T)
1 (see through something) to recognize the truth about something that is intended to deceive you: I could see through his lies.
2 (see through someone) to know what someone is really like, especially what their bad qualities are
3 (see something through) to continue doing something, especially something difficult or unpleasant, until it is finished: Martin felt sick with nerves, but was determined to see the thing through.
4 (see someone through something) to give help and support to someone during a difficult time: I've given him a sedative; that should see him through the night.
see to sb/sth phrasal verb (T) to deal with something or do something for someone: We'll have to see to that window - the wood's rotten. | have/get sth seen to: You should get that tooth seen to by a dentist. | see to it that: Will you see to it that this letter gets mailed today? —see also: not see sb for dust dust 1 (6), it remains to be seen remain (5), see red red 2 (4), see the colour of sb's money colour 1 (12), wouldn't be seen dead dead 1 (17) 2 noun (C) technical an area governed by a bishop (1)

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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