from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To perceive with the eye.
  • transitive v. To apprehend as if with the eye.
  • transitive v. To detect by means analogous to use of the eye: an electronic surveillance camera that saw the activity in the embassy yard.
  • transitive v. To have a mental image of; visualize: They could still see their hometown as it once was.
  • transitive v. To understand; comprehend: I see your point.
  • transitive v. To consider to be; regard: Many saw her as a world leader.
  • transitive v. To believe possible; imagine: I don't see him as a teacher.
  • transitive v. To foresee: I see great things for that child.
  • transitive v. To know through firsthand experience; undergo: "He saw some service on the king's side” ( Tucker Brooke).
  • transitive v. To give rise to or be characterized by: "Her long reign saw the heyday of verbal humor” ( Richard Kain). "The 1930s saw the development of sulfa drugs and penicillin” ( Gregg Easterbrook).
  • transitive v. To find out; ascertain: Please see who's knocking.
  • transitive v. To refer to; read: Persons interested in the book's history should see page one of the preface.
  • transitive v. To take note of; recognize: She sees only the good aspects of the organization.
  • transitive v. To meet or be in the company of: I saw all my aunts and uncles at the reunion.
  • transitive v. To share the companionship of often or regularly: He's been seeing the same woman for eight years.
  • transitive v. To visit socially; call on.
  • transitive v. To visit for consultation: You ought to see your doctor more frequently.
  • transitive v. To admit or receive, as for consultation or a social visit: The doctor will see you now.
  • transitive v. To attend; view: Let's see a movie.
  • transitive v. To escort; attend: I'm seeing Nellie home.
  • transitive v. To make sure; take care: See that it gets done right away.
  • transitive v. Games To meet (a bet) in card games.
  • transitive v. Games To meet the bet of (another player).
  • intransitive v. To have the power to perceive with or as if with the eye.
  • intransitive v. To understand; comprehend.
  • intransitive v. To consider: Let's see, which suitcase should we take?
  • intransitive v. To go and look: She had to see for herself and went into the garage.
  • intransitive v. To ascertain; find out: We probably can do it, but we'll have to see.
  • intransitive v. To have foresight: "No man can see to the end of time” ( John F. Kennedy).
  • intransitive v. To take note.
  • see about To attend to.
  • see about To investigate.
  • see after To take care of: Please see after the children while I'm gone.
  • see off To take leave of (someone): saw the guests off at the door; went to the airport to see us off.
  • see out To escort (a guest) to the door: Will you please see Ms. Smith out?
  • see out To work on (a project) until completion: Despite poor funding, we saw the project out.
  • see through To understand the true character or nature of: We saw through his superficial charm.
  • see through To provide support or cooperation to (a person) throughout a period of time: We'll see you through until you finish college.
  • see through To work on (a project) until completion.
  • see to To attend to: See to the chores, will you?
  • idiom see red Informal To be extremely angry.
  • idiom see you later Informal Used to express good-bye.
  • n. The official seat, center of authority, jurisdiction, or office of a bishop.
  • n. Obsolete A cathedra.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A diocese, archdiocese; a region of a church, generally headed by a bishop, especially an archbishop.
  • n. The office of a bishop or archbishop; bishopric or archbishopric
  • v. To perceive or detect with the eyes, or as if by sight.
  • v. To form a mental picture of.
  • v. To understand.
  • v. To witness or observe by personal experience.
  • v. To ensure that something happens, especially while witnessing it.
  • v. To respond to another player's bet with a bet of equal value.
  • v. To date frequently.
  • v. To foresee, predict, or prophesy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A seat; a site; a place where sovereign power is exercised.
  • n.
  • n. The seat of episcopal power; a diocese; the jurisdiction of a bishop.
  • n. The seat of an archbishop; a province or jurisdiction of an archbishop.
  • n. The seat, place, or office of the pope, or Roman pontiff.
  • n. The pope or his court at Rome.
  • intransitive v. To have the power of sight, or of perceiving by the proper organs; to possess or employ the sense of vision.
  • intransitive v. Figuratively: To have intellectual apprehension; to perceive; to know; to understand; to discern; -- often followed by a preposition, as through, or into.
  • intransitive v. To be attentive; to take care; to give heed; -- generally with to.
  • transitive v. To perceive by the eye; to have knowledge of the existence and apparent qualities of by the organs of sight; to behold; to descry; to view.
  • transitive v. To perceive by mental vision; to form an idea or conception of; to note with the mind; to observe; to discern; to distinguish; to understand; to comprehend; to ascertain.
  • transitive v. To follow with the eyes, or as with the eyes; to watch; to regard attentively; to look after.
  • transitive v. To have an interview with; especially, to make a call upon; to visit.
  • transitive v. To fall in with; to meet or associate with; to have intercourse or communication with; hence, to have knowledge or experience of.
  • transitive v. To accompany in person; to escort; to wait upon.
  • transitive v. In poker and similar games at cards, to meet (a bet), or to equal the bet of (a player), by staking the same sum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To perceive by the eye; become aware of (an object) by means of light-waves emitted by it or reflected from it to the organs of sight; behold: as, to see a man coming; no man can see God.
  • To examine with the eyes; view; behold; observe; inspect: as, to see the games; to see the sights of a town.
  • To perceive mentally; discern; form a conception or idea of; distinguish; understand;comprehend: as, to see the point of an argument; to see a joke.
  • To keep in sight; take care of; watch over; protect.
  • To bring about as a result; superintend the execution or the performance of a thing so as to effect (a specified result); make sure: with an object-clause with that specifying the result.
  • To wait upon; attend; escort: with an objective predicate: as, to see a friend off to Europe; to see a lady home.
  • To call on; visit; have an interview with.
  • To meet and speak with; receive: as, I cannot see any one to-day.
  • To consult for a particular purpose; sometimes, euphemistically, to consult as a lobbyist for the purpose of influencing by a bribe or the like. See the quotation under lobbyist.
  • To find out; learn by observation or experience.
  • To feel; suffer; experience; know by personal experience. See seen, p. a.
  • In poker and other gambling games, to meet and accept by staking a similar sum: as, to see a bet.
  • To outdo, as in drinking; beat.
  • = Syn. 1-3. See, Perceive, Observe, Notice, Behold, Witness. The first five express either the physical sight or the result of reflection; witness expresses sight only. See is the general word; it represents often an involuntary act; to perceive implies generally or always the intelligence of a prepared mind; to observe implies the purpose of inspecting minutely and taking note of facts connected with the object. Notice applies to the involuntary discovery of some object by the sight, or of some fact by the mind; it has also the meaning of observe: as, to notice the operation of a steamengine. To behold is to look at a thing for some time, to see plainly, or to see that which is interesting, remarkable, or otherwise worth seeing. To witness is to see a thing done or happening: as, to witness a surgical operation; hence, legally, to witness a signature is to certify that one saw it made.
  • To have the power of perceiving by the eye; have the power of sight; perceive or discern objects or their apparent qualities by the organs of sight.
  • To perceive mentally; apprehend; discern; understand: often with into or through.
  • To look: with after, for, on, up, or upon.
  • To examine or inquire; consider.
  • To meet; see one another.
  • To attend to or care or arrange for; look after; take care of.
  • See is used imperatively, or as an interjection, to call the attention of others to an object or a subject, signifying ‘lo!’ ‘look!’ ‘behold!’
  • n. What one has to see.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of sea.
  • n. l. A seat of power or dignity; a throne.
  • n. The seat of a bishop, whether an ordinary bishop, or a bishop of higher rank (metropolitan, etc., patriarch, pope); the local center of a diocese and of diocesan authority, or of a diocese and other subordinate dioceses; the city or locality from which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is exercised; hence, episcopal rank, authority, and jurisdiction as exercised from a permanent local center.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight
  • v. come together
  • v. date regularly; have a steady relationship with
  • v. deem to be
  • v. perceive or be contemporaneous with
  • v. deliberate or decide
  • v. be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
  • v. perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
  • v. go or live through
  • v. observe as if with an eye
  • v. accompany or escort
  • v. go to see a place, as for entertainment
  • v. see or watch
  • v. receive as a specified guest
  • v. find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort
  • v. match or meet
  • n. the seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located
  • v. go to see for a social visit
  • v. make sense of; assign a meaning to
  • v. take charge of or deal with
  • v. see and understand, have a good eye
  • v. get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally
  • v. imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
  • v. observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
  • v. go to see for professional or business reasons


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English sen, from Old English sēon.
Middle English, from Old French se, from Vulgar Latin *sedem, from Latin sēdēs, seat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English seen, from Old English sēon ("to see, look, behold, perceive, observe, discern, understand, know"), from Proto-Germanic *sehwanan (“to see”), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ- (“to see, notice”). Cognate with West Frisian sjen ("to see"), Dutch zien ("to see"), Low German sehn, German sehen ("to see"), Danish and Swedish se ("to see"), and more distantly with Latin sīgnum ("sign, token"), Albanian shih ("look at, see") imp. of shoh ("to see").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin sedes ("seat"), referring to the bishop's throne or chair (compare seat of power) in the cathedral; related to the Latin verb sedere ("to sit").


  • It takes me 45 minutes and I usually see one of the four following people: crazy chatty religious woman; former classmate I pretend not to see& who pretends not to see me; cute guy who always looks a bit sad, a bit drunk; and a woman I fear is compensating for her weight with enormous accessories, despite the fact that she is beautiful.

    On Living in New York City in 2009, After Watching a Documentary on New York City in the Late 1800s

  • Oooo... see... for us visual people, we like to *see* our stuff.

    Simplify 101

  • The next pit stops I can see are Promos and ALevels and after that I can only see a vast void that stretches as far as the eye can see…

    j-gan Diary Entry

  • Louis began to realize how much he had wanted to see Prill ... to see her free of the ARM ... to * see* her.

    The Ringworld Engineers

  • "It is a general rule on all regular plantations, that the slaves be in the field as _soon as it is light enough for them to see to work_, and remain there until it is _so dark that they cannot see_."

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4

  • Her own power of realization, assured her on this point -- nobody could see, not divine but _see_, as she did, without being able to reproduce; the one implied the other.

    A Daughter of To-Day

  • Not only will you see the chances for success that are all about you, but you will _see into_ them.

    Certain Success

  • Herbert! don't you see, _won't you see_, that, if you leave the one great sin all uncovered, open to the continual attrition of a life of goodness, God _will_ let it wear away?

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, No. 58, August, 1862

  • For treatment see that the feet are warm, bathing them if necessary (_see_ Bathing Feet).

    Papers on Health

  • TLACHIQUEBO (_Aztec_, tlacbiqui, an overseer, from tlachia, to see), a labourer in an aloe-field, who draws the juice for pulque; _see_ p. 36.

    Anahuac : or, Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modern


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  • "The seat of a bishop, whether an ordinary bishop, or a bishop of higher rank (metropolitan, etc., patriarch, pope); the local center of a diocese and of diocesan authority, or of a diocese and other subordinate dioceses; the city or locality from which ecclesiastical jurisdiction is exercised; hence, episcopal rank, authority, and jurisdiction as exercised from a permanent local center. The word see, from meaning any seat of dignity, came to apply specifically to the cathedra, or episcopal throne, situated in a cathedral, thence to the city which contained the cathedral and was the chief city of a bishop's diocese, and so in modern usage to the diocese itself. It differs from diocese, however, in that diocese represents the territorial province for the care of which the bishop is responsible (that is, where his duties lie), whereas see is the local seat of his authority, dignity, and episcopal privileges. Both words differ from bishopric, in that bishopric represents the bishop's office, whether actual or nominal. See throne."

    --Century Dictionary

    I especially like the "See throne" bit. Does throne tell us to "See see?"

    June 13, 2013

  • qroqqa, my sympathies. You might need this.

    March 26, 2009

  • Oh, a perfectly unremarkable and harmless construction as long as it hides in the thickets; but when a writer makes a tic of it, as my present one is, out comes the red pen (and a wisp of steam from the ears).

    March 25, 2009

  • *barfs*

    Why, God? Why?

    March 25, 2009

  • 'The past year has seen them do such-and-such.'

    'His expertise in X has seen him do Y.'

    A strange information-packaging use that promotes an adjunct to subject.

    March 25, 2009

  • German for 'lake'.

    "Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee

    With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade:

    And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten."

    T.S. Eliot: "The Waste Land" (The Burial of the Dead)

    January 10, 2008