see1/si/USA pronunciationv.,saw/sɔ/USA pronunciation seen/sin/USA pronunciation see•ing. v.
[not: be + ~-ing] to view (something) with the eyes;look at: [~ + object]I saw her in the park.[~ + object + verb-ing]I saw her running in the park.[~ + object + root form of verb]I saw him shoot the police officer.
to have the power of sight:[not: be + ~-ing; no object]He can't see; he's been blind from birth.
to view, as a spectator:[~ + object]I saw a good movie last night.
Electronics to scan or view, esp. by electronic means:[not: be + ~-ing; ~ + object]When the electronic eye sees you, the door opens automatically.
[not: be + ~-ing] to grasp (things) mentally;to understand: [~ + object]I see your point.[~ + clause]I see that you meant it; sorry I doubted you.[no object]Don't you see; we want to help you!
[not: be + ~-ing] to form a mental image of: [~ + object]I can't see him as president.[~ + object + verb-ing]I can't see him running things.
to imagine or believe that one sees something:[~ + object]You must be seeing things; there's nothing here.
to be aware of; recognize:[not: be + ~-ing]to see his mistakes.
(used as a polite request to draw the attention of someone to something):[no object]See, here it comes.
[not: be + ~-ing] to discover;find out: [~ + object]See who is at the door.[no object]If you don't believe me, then here, see for yourself.
[not: be + ~-ing] to read or read about: [~ + object]I saw it in the newspaper.[~ + that clause]I saw in the newspaper that your store carries these computers.
to have knowledge or experience of:[~ + object]to see combat.
[~ + that clause] to make sure:See that the door is locked.Compare see to below.
to meet and converse with; visit:[~ + object]Why don't you come and see me?
to receive (someone) as a visitor:[~ + object]not allowed to see anyone until after the operation.
to court or date frequently:[~ + object]We've been seeing each other for the last year.
to escort or accompany:[~ + object]It's late; why don't I see you home.
(used with the subject pronouns I and we, or after let and the object pronouns me or us, to indicate a pause) to think; consider:[no object]Let me see, what was his name? Let's see; does this round peg fit in the square hole?
see about,[~ + about + object]
to inquire about; investigate:It's his job to see about what his teachers are doing.
Also, see after. to take care of; to attend to:Let me see about that and I'll call you back.
see off, to accompany (someone about to go on a journey) to the place of departure: [~ + off + object]We went to the airport to see off my aunt and uncle.[~ + object + off]to see them off.
see out,[~ + object + out] to escort to an outer door:He saw her out the door with a smile.
[~ + through + object] to figure out the nature of (someone), esp. to detect or discover a lie:saw right through his excuses.
[~ + object + through] to remain with until completion:Don't quit now; let's see this job through.
see to,[~ + to + object] to take care of; attend to; see about:I'll see to all the travel arrangements.
Idiomssee red,[Informal.]to become enraged:He saw red when he found that he'd have to pay once again for the same repairs.
Compare the words see and look. The verb look refers to a much more active sense in which the subject uses the eyes, moves them, turns the head, and generally participates more in the action:I looked at the people rushing by (= I moved my eyes, perhaps even turning my head to observe them).The verb see is much less active and implies less participation by the subject* with this verb, the image of the object simply strikes the subject's eyes, and the subject does much less:I saw her standing there (= The image of her standing there simply struck my eyes; I had very little to do with the activity).Whenever a meaning of a verb implies activity or participation, there is a good chance the progressive aspect ([be + ~-ing]) may be used:I was looking at the people rushing by. I have been seeing her (= dating) for two years.But when the action of a verb does not imply continuing activity or participation by the subject, the progressive aspect is not used, which is why see so often does not allow the progressive aspect:I saw her standing there (NOT: I was seeing her...).