α. OE æg- (in compounds), OE æge, OE eag- (in compounds), OE eage, OE eagh- (in compounds), OE eahge (rare), OE eg- (in compounds), OE ege, OE egh- (in compounds), OE ego (Northumbrian), OE egu (Northumbrian), OE eug- (in compounds, rare), OE heah- (in compounds, rare), OE iege (rare), OE–eME eaga (rare), OE–eME eah- (in compounds), OE–eME eh- (in compounds), lOE eægæ, lOE eagæ, lOE egæ, eME eæȝe, eME eaȝe, eME ech- (in compounds), eME echȝe, eME eȝæ- (in compounds), eME eȝhe, eME hege, ME e (northern and north midlands), ME eegh, ME eeye, ME eȝe, ME egȝe, ME egh, ME eghe, ME egth, ME egthe, ME ehe, ME eige, ME eiȝe, ME eigh, ME eighe, ME eih, ME eihe, ME eyeghe, ME eyȝe, ME eygh, ME eyghe, ME eyh, ME eyhe, ME ȝe, ME ȝee, ME haye, ME he, ME hee (northern, north midlands, and East Anglian), ME heghe, ME heh- (in compounds), ME hei, ME heie, ME hey, ME heye- (in compounds), ME heyȝe, ME high, ME hye, ME hyee, ME hyȝe, ME hygh, ME ieae, ME iȝe, ME iȝee, ME igh, ME ighe, ME yȝe, ME yghe, ME yhe, ME (northern and north midlands) 15– (poetic) ee, ME (16 poetic) eyen, ME–15 ei, ME–15 iee, ME–15 iey, ME–15 ihe, ME–15 iye, ME–15 ye, ME–15 yee, ME–15 yie, ME–15 yye, ME–16 eie, ME–16 ie, ME–17 ey, ME– eye, 15 eaye, 15 eey, 15 i, 15 yae, 15 yei, 15 yeie, 15 yey, 16 oÿ; English regional 17– ee, 18– e (northern), 18– e'e (Lancashire), 18– oye (Essex); Scottish pre-17 eae, pre-17 eee, pre-17 ei, pre-17 eij, pre-17 ey, pre-17 he, pre-17 ie, pre-17 pre-17– eye, pre-17 17– ee, pre-17 17– eie, pre-17 18 e, 17– e'e; N.E.D. (1894) also records forms lME eae, lME hyghe; also Irish English 17 iee.
β. OE eagenes (genitive, rare).
γ. ME nee, ME neghe, ME nehe, ME nei, ME ny, ME–16 nye, 15–17 nie, 16 neye; N.E.D. (1894) also records forms ME nie, lME ney. 2.
α. OE æagan (chiefly late), OE agene (genitive, probably transmission error), OE eaga (transmission error), OE eagan, OE eagean, OE eagen (chiefly late), OE eago (transmission error), OE eagon, OE eagun, OE eahena (genitive, rare), OE eaxan (probably transmission error), OE egan, OE ego (Northumbrian), OE egu (Northumbrian), lOE ægon, lOE eægæn, lOE eagæn, lOE eagam, lOE eahgan, lOE egæn, lOE–ME egen, eME æȝen (south-west midlands), eME eaȝæn, eME eaȝan, eME eaȝean, eME eaȝen, eME eȝan, eME eȝean, eME eiȝæn, ME eeȝen, ME een (chiefly northern and north midlands), ME eeyen, ME eeyn, ME eȝen, ME egȝen, ME eȝhe, ME eghen, ME eȝhen, ME eghien, ME eghn, ME eghun, ME eghyn, ME eȝin, ME egthen, ME egyn, ME ehin, ME ehtyn, ME eiȝe, ME eiȝen, ME eighen, ME eiȝyen, ME eihen, ME eithen, ME eiyn, ME en, ME enn, ME eon, ME exyn, ME eye, ME eyeyn, ME eyȝe, ME eyȝen, ME eyghen, ME eyȝin, ME eyȝyn, ME eyhe, ME eyhen, ME eyien, ME eyiȝen, ME eyin, ME eyon, ME eyyn, ME ȝeen, ME ȝeȝen, ME ȝen, ME ȝien, ME he, ME heen, ME heȝe, ME hegehen, ME heȝhen, ME heien, ME heyghen, ME heyȝyn, ME heyin, ME heyn, ME hiȝen, ME hyen, ME ieen, ME ieghen, ME iȝe, ME iȝen, ME ighen, ME jen, ME jyn, ME yeen, ME yeȝen, ME yeghen, ME yehen, ME yeyn, ME yȝe, ME yȝen, ME yghen, ME yhen, ME yon, ME yyn, ME (16 poetic and archaic) eyn, ME–15 ain, ME–15 eien, ME–15 ein, ME–15 ien, ME–15 iyen, ME–15 yen, ME–15 yien, ME– eyen (now archaic and poetic), 15 eyn; English regional (chiefly northern and north midlands) 17– een, 18 heen (Lancashire), 18 uyn (Somerset), 18– eyen, 18– eyn; Scottish pre-17 en, pre-17 eyn, pre-17 17–18 ein, pre-17 17– een, 17 eeen, 17 eien, 17– e'en, 18 eyen; also Irish English 18 ein (Wexford), 18 ieen (Wexford), 18– een (northern and Wexford); N.E.D. (1894) also records a form eME ehȝen.
β. OE eagenum (dative, rare), OE egna (Mercian, rare), lOE eagene, lOE eagne (dative), lOE eagnum (dative), lOE eahne, eME eaȝnen (dative), eME ehhne ( Ormulum), ME eeyne, ME eȝene, ME eȝenen, ME eghene, ME eghne, ME eȝhne, ME eghnes, ME eghyne, ME eȝne, ME ehene, ME ehne, ME ehnen, ME eiene, ME eiȝene, ME eighne, ME eiȝne, ME eiine, ME einen, ME ene, ME enghne (perhaps transmission error), ME enyn, ME eyeghen, ME eyȝene, ME eyghne, ME eyȝne, ME eyȝnen, ME eygnyn, ME eyhene, ME eyhne, ME eynen, ME eynes, ME eynez, ME eynin, ME eynon, ME eynyn, ME eynys, ME ȝene, ME hæȝene, ME heghne, ME heiene, ME hene, ME heyne, ME heynen, ME heynyn, ME hynon, ME iȝene, ME ine, ME inee, ME iyene, ME yene, ME ygne, ME ynee, ME yyne, ME (18 Irish English (Wexford)) eene, ME–15 eyene, ME–15 yne, ME–16 (18– archaic) eyne, 15–16 eine, 16 aine; English regional (northern and north midlands) 18– eyne; Scottish pre-17 eene, pre-17 eine, pre-17 ewine, pre-17 eyine, pre-17 18 ene, pre-17 18 eyne, 19– eens.
γ. ME eȝes, ME eiez, ME eiȝes, ME eyeȝ, ME eyese, ME eyȝes, ME eyys, ME hyes, ME yeȝ, ME yȝes, ME yis, ME yys, ME 16 eys, ME–15 ees, ME–15 yes, ME–16 eies, ME– eyes, lME iis (in a late copy), 15 ayes, 15 eeys, 15 ies, 15 iyes, 15 yeis, 15 yies, 15 17 yees; English regional 17 yees, 17– ees (now northern and north midlands), 18 aies (Devon), 18– e'es (Yorkshire); Scottish pre-17 eais, pre-17 eeis, pre-17 eis, pre-17 eiyes, pre-17 eyeis, pre-17 eyis, pre-17 17– eyes, pre-17 18 ees, 19– ehs (Dundee), 19– ehz (Dundee).
δ. lME nehene, lME nene, lME nyen, lME nynon, 15–16 nyes, 16 neen (English regional (Yorkshire)), 16 neyes, 16 n'eyes, 16 n'yes; N.E.D. (1894) also records a form lME nyon. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use):
Origin: A word inherited from Germanic.
Cognate with Old Frisian āge
, Old Dutch ouga
(Middle Dutch ōghe
, Dutch oog
), Old Saxon ōga
(Middle Low German ōge
), Old High German ouga
(Middle High German ouge
, German Auge
), Old Icelandic auga
, Swedish öga
, Old Danish øghæ
), Gothic augo
< a Germanic base apparently ultimately < the same Indo-European base as classical Latin oculus
eye (see ).
Derivation from the same Indo-European base as classical Latin oculus
eye (see ) is widely accepted but not phonologically straightforward, since forms in the Germanic languages indicate derivation from a base with the diphthong au-
, and not the expected a-
seen in e.g. Old High German ac-siuni
appearances, and also (with regular development of ag-
before stressed palatal vowels) in e.g. Old High German awi-zoraht
openly, Old English ēawan
, Old Frisian auwia
, Gothic augjan
to show (see ). Several explanations for this have been suggested, such as a hybrid form (aug-
) arising from the existence of different stem types within the paradigm, or alteration as a result of association with the Germanic base of
(compare Gothic auso
at that entry).
In Old English usually a weak neuter (ēage
). Although not shown by the spelling, the original velar consonant would have undergone palatalization in the nominative and accusative singular (before a front vowel) while remaining unchanged elsewhere (although subject to analogical levelling as indicated by inflected forms such as ).
In Middle English there was a divergent development. In some parts of the midlands and south, long close ē
in combination with a palatal gave a diphthong (/ei/
); in others (probably the central and south-east midlands and central south) the vowel was raised to ī
before the palatal plus vowel, resulting in such forms as , , , and (monophthongized)
), ultimately, after the Great Vowel Shift, giving the modern standard pronunciation (although the standard spelling eye
comes from varieties where the long ē
was not raised). By contrast, in the north midlands and north and in Older Scots, long close ē
maintained both its length and quality before the intervocalic palatal, and (after early loss of final -e
) developed into a diphthong with long first element ( /eːi/
) which was subsequently monophthongized; compare the form e
), the antecedent of the modern northern English and Scots form ee
The forms at Forms 1
show metanalysis (see ).
The weak -n
plural is usual in Middle English, and survives into the developing early modern English standard (see Forms 2); the form
remains current in regional varieties (chiefly in Scots and northern English).
The forms at Forms 2
show the development of a double plural with a second inflectional ending added to the already inflected form. The additional ending is typically weak, although occasional examples with the strong -s
ending are found in later Middle English. Instances of such double plural forms are rare in Old English, but become more widespread in Middle English; compare also the Old English hybrid genitive singular form
at Forms 1
(showing a mixture of weak and strong endings), which occurs once in the interlinear gloss to the mid 11th-cent. Stowe Psalter
plural forms such as , , , etc. may alternatively show spellings of
plural forms (after final -e
ceased to be pronounced).
plural (now standard) is first attested in the late 14th cent. (see Forms 2).
Notes on specific senses.
Earlier currency of sense
is implied by Old English glæsenēage
(adjective) having eyes the colour of glass, grey-eyed ( <
+ Old English ēage
eyed < ēage
, suffix forming adjectives; compare Old Saxon glesinōgo
, Old High German glesīnougi
in botany compare French œil
in the sense ‘part of a fruit opposite the stem’ (c
1393 in Middle French).
in geology after German Auge
(1838 in Augengneiss
, or earlier: compare ).
(in biblical contexts) directly or ultimately rendering Hebrew ʿayin
spring, source of a spring, frequently identified by European authors with Hebrew ʿayin
eye (compare quot. ). In
ultimately after Hebrew ʿayin Yaʿaqoḇ
(Deuteronomy 33:28), in uncertain sense, perhaps ‘the abode of Jacob’, or perhaps ‘Jacob's fountain’.
in architecture after French œil
(1547 in Middle French in oeuil de la Volute
), Italian occhio
(1536 in †ochio della Voluta
, or earlier), themselves after classical Latin oculus volutae
in typography compare French œil
size of printed characters (1690 in this sense).
Senses relating to visual perception.
The organ of sight.
b. spec. The eye and eyelid considered together (and so including expressions relating to the opening and closing of the eye); the region of the face surrounding (and including) the eye.Cf. , and also , , etc.
OE (Northumbrian) ix. 6
Leuit [read linuit] lutum super oculos eius : ahof..þæt lam ofer ego [OE Rushw. egu] his.
OE tr. Pseudo-Apuleius
Wiþ eagena sar..genim þysse ylcan wyrte seaw & smyre ða eagan þærmid.
Þa geseah he þa iunge men sittan on heora cneowan & heora eahne wæron gebundene.
MS Lamb. in R. Morris
1st Ser. 121 (MED)
Summe þer weren þet his eȝan bundan.
He wolde þat he iseȝe Teres in evrich monnes eȝe.
Hare eyen openede & him knewe.
Smale foweles maken melodye That slepen al the nyght with open Ihe [c1415 Lansd. yhe].
1486 sig. bij
An hauke that is broght vp vnder a Bussard..hath wateri Eyghen.
c1515 Ld. Berners tr.
The pyrates..bounde his handes..and iyen.
1554 J. Christopherson sig. U.viiv
The clothe wherwith they couered his eyes, when they bette him.
1605 Z. Jones tr. P. le Loyer ix. f. 93
To some also it hath bin inioyned for a punishment and torment..to gaze vpon the glorious light of the Sunne, without being suffered to wincke and shutte his eyes.
1675 T. Hobbes tr. Homer xvi. 11
Kisses his head and hands, and both his eyne.
1751 T. Smollett II. lxxvi. 306
These gummy eyes, lanthorn jaws, and toothless chaps.
1840 E. Howard I. ix. 178
That kindly looking gentleman, that's blushing up to the eyes.
1860 A. Wynter III. 106
The wart hog,..which wallows up to its eyes in slush and mire.
1911 K. L. Bosher vi. 70
She wiped her eyes resentingly.
1959 V. S. Naipaul x. 111
Black up their eye and bruise up their knee And then they love you eternally.
2008 A. Davidson
Her eyes opened wide, as if I had inserted a key into a secret lock.
c. Modified by an adjective (as blue, brown, etc.) denoting the colour of the iris and applied to the whole organ (sometimes as a distinguishing characteristic of a person, etc.). Also in extended use. Cf. .
Þin eȝene [a1300 Jesus Oxf. eyen] boþ colblake & brode.
He loked on þe wiþ wrake Sternliche wiþ his eyȝen blake.
?c1350 Ballad Sc. Wars 22 in A. Brandl & O. Zippel
His hegehen war gret and grai.
tr. R. Higden
That region hathe peple with white heire, peyntede eien and ȝelowe [L. oculis pictis et glaucis].
?a1513 W. Dunbar
Eyn of ar maid of blew asure.
1587 L. Mascall
The Fleabitten, with a thinne crest, hauing blacke eyne.
a1637 B. Jonson tr. Horace Art of Poetrie 52 in
With faire black eyes, and haire; and a wry nose.
1687 A. Lovell tr. J. de Thévenot i. 39
They reckon Women with big black Eyes, and red Cheeks, to be the greatest Beauties.
1713 A. Pope 15
He turn'd his azure Eyes Where Windsor-Domes and pompous Turrets rise.
1773 M. Browne viii. 117
'Twas there gay Phylla..Glanc'd the soft passion from her sky-blue eye.
1820 Nov. 155/1
Ye're conceited o' your bonnie blue een.
1891 S. J. Duncan 191
Mr. Pratte had very blue eyes with a great deal of laugh in them.
1907 D. K. Ranous tr. M. Serao xvii. 255
‘Ill?’ asked the Romagnan of the frank brown eyes.
1930 A. Christie in May 241/2
‘Oh, no!’ Jane opened her blue eyes very wide.
1969 L. A. Murray 71
Dazzling blue eyes Of winter stare from the box-trees The shadows of barns are thin with frosted straw.
2005 J. Weiner xxvi. 223
Her hazel eyes were shining. She looked as proud as a kid who's brought home her first A paper.
d. A representation of an eye, esp. in art.
?1573 L. Lloyd f. 125
A Skilfull Painter beholding an exceeding fayre Image wanting onelye eyes and handes, thought to shew his cunning therein, and taking his pencell in hande to paint handes and eyes correspondent vnto the other members.
1664 G. Havers tr. T. Renaudot et al. xcvi. 557
So, painting an Eye upon a Scepter, which signifi'd God, they intimated also his properties, by the Scepter his Omnipotence, and by the Eye his Providence.
1765 H. Fuseli tr. J. J. Winckelmann 13
The large eyes of all the heads on Greek coins and gems.
1871 29 Apr. 435/2
The gaily painted boats, with large eyes in their prows, danced towards us on the swell.
1925 Mar. 36/2
When you are satisfied with the general form of your duck, put in the wings, eyes and bill with the pointed end of your wooden tool.
20 Aug. 11
Scott..thought the billboard posters would only feature demonic eyes behind a curtain.
2012 H. Graham ii. 44
He'd read that the Mona Lisa's eyes seemed to follow her viewers.
e. Any of various visual or light-detecting organs in invertebrates.Eyes that are capable of focusing light to form an image (as distinct from eyespots simply capable of detecting light) are present in several phyla, including cnidarians, annelids, arthropods, and molluscs, though they vary widely in structure. Many arthropods, including insects, have both simple eyes (ocelli) and compound eyes (containing numerous ommatidia). Cf. .
1601 P. Holland tr. Pliny I. 327
There bee Insects with little hornes proaking out before their eyes.
1665 R. Hooke 178
Each of these Pearls [sc. in a drone-fly]..is a perfect eye.
1700 T. Brown viii. 87
Their Collections of Rarities exceeds that of John Tradusken, for here are..the Eyes of Oysters.
1713 W. Derham viii. iii. 401
Insects clean their Eyes with their Fore-legs, as well as Antennæ.
1774 O. Goldsmith VIII. iii. 37
It still, however, remains a doubt, whether the insect sees objects singly, as with one eye; or whether every facet is itself a complete eye, exhibiting its own object distinct from all the rest.
1841 T. R. Jones xv. 278
The individual eyes or ocelli, as we shall term them.
1878 VIII. 816/1
The compound eye..consists essentially of a series of transparent cone-like bodies, arranged in a radiate manner against the inner surface of the cornea.
1934 T. Wood xii. 153
The octopus..goggled his eyes and oozled his slimy, restless-writhing arms.
1958 J. E. Morton ii. 33
The strombids have large eyes mounted on optic tentacles and are the quickest and most alert of all bottom gastropods.
1971 R. E. Pfadt
Dorsal ocellus, the simple eye in adult insects and in nymphs and naiads.
2010 21 Aug. 65/3
Members of genus Histioteuthis..a group of squid.., are unique in the animal kingdom as their left eye is two to three times the size of the right.
b. Modified by adjectives expressing the feeling or disposition of the observer. Now chiefly in plural.
Þæt þæt we mid gitsiendum eagum agylton, þæt we nu mid wependum eagum behreowsiað.
lOE King Ælfred tr. Boethius
I. v. 247
Þa þæt mod þa þillic sar cweðende wæs.., se wisdom þa & seo gesceadwisnes him bliðum eahum[eOE Junius eagum; L. vultu placido] on locodon.
a1393 J. Gower
i. l. 140
With yhen wrothe.
If oon be full of vylanye Another hath a likerous ighe.
?1531 tr. Plutarch f. 12v
He whom hate blyndeth not so, but that he may iuge hym, whom he hateth, & also may loke with indifferent eies, bothe vpon his lyfe, and his maners.
1556 tr. J. de Flores sig. F
Chaste and shamefaste ees.
1611 Prov. xxii. 9
Hee that hath a bountifull eye, shall bee blessed.
a1689 A. Behn
iii. i. 30
I see she regards thee with kind Eyes, Sighs and Blushes.
1734 A. Pope 199
View him with..jealous eyes.
1820 J. Keats Eve of St. Agnes in 100
Those sad eyes were spiritual and clear.
1849 T. B. Macaulay I. 161
Bowls, horseracing, were regarded with no friendly eye.
1901 W. B. Yeats 14 Nov.
I shall watch the adventure with the most friendly eyes.
1976 12 Mar. 5/2
He turned loving eyes on the tormenting thugs.
1990 Dec. 34/2
Signorina X takes note with a baleful eye.
2004 A. Levy i. 21
The man sucked his teeth and flashed angry eyes in my face.
b. The action or function of perception by the eyes; the sense of seeing or observing, sight. Frequently with the. Also in plural.
Þat for a tym desceyuiþ and iapiþ þe ȝee, but þis biggiþ þe vnderstonding perpetual.
1508 J. Fisher sig. gg.iv
All thynges be naked and open to his [sc. God's] eyen.
1567 A. Golding tr. Ovid
ix. f. 112
Too hyde this blemish from the eye.
1600 W. Shakespeare iv. i. 72
Is this face Heroes? are our eies our owne?
a1616 W. Shakespeare
iii. i. 126
Masking the Businesse from the common Eye .
1653 A. Marvell Let. 28 July in
Demonstrating to the Ey which way we ought to trauell.
1728 J. Cowper tr. W. Dunkin 6
A thousand various Arts we try To 'scape the watchful Porter's Eye.
1783 Oct. 316
The specimen is so truly novel and original, that we cannot withhold it from the eye of the learned.
1849 T. B. Macaulay II. 207
The conflict in the royal mind did not escape the eye of Barillon.
1908 May 693/1
Legrand..was said to have a cross of Indian blood, just enough to cause him to detect signs which escape the common eye.
1955 ‘N. Shute’
For a moment they stood staring, unable to believe the evidence of their eyes.
1997 A. Sivanandan i. viii. 87
People were lined up along the streets as far as the eye could see.
c. The facility by which a working sheepdog controls sheep with its eyes or gaze (rather than by its bark, etc.). Cf. .
1933 L. G. D. Acland in 21 Oct. 15/7
Force..is different from eye, the dog's control of sheep by staring them in the face.
1938 J. H. McCulloch ii. 11
The most striking characteristic of the Border Collie is the one which shepherds refer to as ‘The Eye’, or the power of the dog to control sheep with its eyes.
1966 P. Newton 188
Plain-eyed: Most of our heading dogs show what is known as ‘eye’, i.e. when working a few sheep they ‘set’ them much as does a setter or pointing dog setting game.
1985 N. Rennie 37
When a heading dog first begins to eye sheep it is important to break the eye by calling it so that it looks at you.
2007 T. Williams i. iii. 33
The amount and type of eye a dog uses is vital in its effectiveness as a working dog.
b. A person positioned so as to be able to view or monitor a situation and relay information. Cf. .Frequently in military and intelligence contexts.
1837 B. D. Walsh in tr. Aristophanes I. 17
The King of Persia had certain officers who were called ‘his Eyes’.
1918 Mar. 107/3
‘The use of the submarine,’ says Secretary Roosevelt, ‘has so changed naval warfare that more “eyes” are needed on every ship in order that a constant..lookout may be maintained.’
1968 III. 82
They [sc. farmers] are our eyes in the field. They form an essential link between the livestock keeper and the researcher in the laboratory.
2009 J. F. Casey vii. 64
We need to get some eyes on the ground... Three or four covert teams..ought to do the job.
2013 S. Pearsall 71
Kitch then introduced Jay to the secretary, commenting, ‘Jay is our eye on the Congo’.
c. slang (originally U.S.).
(a) (A name for) the Pinkerton National Detective Agency (see ); a member of this (now rare);
(b) (more generally) a detective or a detective agency, esp. a private one; a private eye (also occasionally the eye of the law );
(c) a lookout man (rare).In its earliest sense, originally more fully the eye that never sleeps (and variants), the motto of the Pinkerton detective agency (also ‘we never sleep’), which was often printed around the image of an eye.Later use is predominantly in sense , esp. as a shortening of ; cf. also .
1874 13 June 12/3
The great American Detective Bureau has succumbed to the sell of the period; the eye that ‘is always open’ has been found unable to see through a mill-stone with a hole in it.
1880 17 Feb.
It may seen a wonder how such an institution as Pinkerton's can pass investigation... The ‘eye that never sleeps’ is open for more purposes than the public generally is aware of.
1900 ‘J. Flynt’ & ‘F. Walton’ iii. 21
Old 'Frisco Slim touched up one o' the big joolry places not knowin' that it was in the Eye's dead-line.
1901 J. Flynt 138
‘The eye of the law’ oversteps the boundaries of his jurisdiction and compromises himself.
1914 L. E. Jackson & C. R. Hellyer 31
Eye (the),..The Pinkerton Detective Agency; an operative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Example: ‘Blow this joint; it's protected by the Eye.’
1936 J. G. Brandon x. 90
As the existence of this watcher had been known for some considerable time to Inspector McCarthy..that astute young gentleman gave the ‘eye’ no chance to weigh upon him.
1955 No. 24. 141
The [Pinkerton Detective] agency is called the eye, from its trademark, the all-seeing eye.
1964 H. Kane iii. 34
I want you to meet this eye, but never alone, because this is an eye with an eye for the broads.
1996 M. Coleman vii. 82
An eye! A private eye! I bet that's what it stands for!
d. In plural. Frequently in Marketing. The audience or viewers of a visual medium, as a television programme or website, esp. regarded as a source of potential revenue. Also: the readership of a printed medium. Cf. .
1919 27 Sept. 28/2
Great feature films..were made and exhibited, reaching more eyes than any other pictures in the history of the screen.
1938 15 July 8/6
There are 100,000 eyes waiting each day to read their ‘Home Town Newspapers’ about the things they want to know about.
1975 S. H. Chaffee & M. J. Petrick xi. 129
Television..can deliver more eyes per dollar, and hence is a better buy from the sales viewpoint.
1 Apr. 25
The video had a feverish viral run on the net, reaching half a million eyes in a single day.
Something resembling the eye in function, appearance, shape, or relative position.
A hole or aperture.
(b) In extended use: a minute opening or space; chiefly in similative phrases alluding to or echoing Matthew 19: 24 (see quot. ; also Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25). Frequently in to pass through the eye of a needle (also a needle's eye) and variants. Cf. , .
Ic eow secge þæt eaðelicre byð þam olfende to ganne þurh nædle eage [L. per foramen acus] þonne se welega on heofona rice ga.
?c1335 in W. Heuser
Hit is as eþe forto bring A camel in to þe neld is ei, As a rich man to bring In to þe blisse þat is an hei.
Matt. xix. 24
It is liȝter, or eysier, a camel for to passe thorwȝ a nedelis eiȝe.
S. Scrope tr. C. de Pisan
A chamelle shuld souner passe throwe an nedelles ye.
1533 tr. Erasmus xxxiv. sig. Rvijv
It is more easy for a camell to crepe thrugh the eye of a nedle than a ryche man to entre in to the kyngdome of heuen.
1579 S. Gosson f. 9
Euery one of them may..daunce the wilde morice in an needles eye.
1609 W. Shakespeare ii. i. 82
So much wit..As will stop the eye of Hellens needle.
1622 C. Fitzgeffry 46
He had learned also how to make the Camell passe through the needles eye, namely, by casting off the bunch on the back.
1668 W. Davenant i. i
The invisible rogue threaded a lane as narrow as a needle's eye.
1720 C. Shadwell Sham Prince ii, in 139
My Circumstances are as narrow as the Eye of a Needle.
a1739 C. Jarvis tr. M. de Cervantes
II. ii. ii. 99
I have heard say of these masters, that they can thrust the point of a sword through the eye of a needle.
1828 D. M. Moir ix. 78
Me and the minister were just argle-bargling some few words on the doctrine of the camel and the eye of the needle.
1872 W. Besant & J. Rice III. xiii. 234
A single-hearted..rich man, for whom the needle's eye is as easy to pass, as for the poorest pauper.
1925 A. Huxley i. i. 11
Those roaring lions at Lady Trunion's..had no hope of passing through the needle's eye.
1940 V. W. Brooks xx. 414
People solemnly chewed their food very fine and slowly to be slender enough to pass through the eye of the needle.
2012 23 Nov. 40/5
There is an aldermanic tomb in a church..that declares that its owner, being both laden with goods and charitable, passed through the eye of a needle.
b. A small hole or hollow in cheese, sometimes regarded as a fault in production. Also: a similar hole in bread, a stone, etc. Cf. . N.E.D. (1894) interpreted quot. as belonging to sense , but the context suggests the reference is to a porous stone.
a1387 J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden
(St. John's Cambr.)
A litel stone wiþ yene [L. lapidem oculatum].
a1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus
(BL Add. 27944)
II. xix. lxxv. 1334
Chese y-yȝed and yrosted [MS yrestored] is nouȝt so euel as chese wiþ many yȝen and holes.
Stones..rubbyd, as they wer wood. Out off the eye ranne red blood.
1528 T. Paynell tr. Arnaldus de Villa Nova in Joannes de Mediolano sig. E ij
Chese..not to tough..nor to full of eies.
1593 J. Eliot ii. vi. 49
This Parmesan is well gathered, and fresher then that Holland cheese, which is full of eies.
1607 E. Topsell 623
Cheeses made of their [sc. sheep's] milke is..full of eyes and holes.
1649 W. Blith xix. 112
A Mudde or Sludg..which is very soft, full of Eyes and Wrinckles.
1688 R. Holme iii. v. 244
Bad cheese..full of Eyes, not well prest.
1723 J. Clarke tr. I. i. viii. 29
Those large Spaces which we call the Eyes of the Bread.
1788 R. Briggs i. 19
If [thin Gloucester cheese]..is full of eyes and pale, or very yellow, it is poor.
1811 W. Aiton 455
Whey-springs or eyes, are seldom met with in the cheeses of Ayrshire.
1837 VII. 15/1
The smaller and rounder the eyes, the better the cheese is reckoned. They should contain a clear salt liquor, which is called the tears.
1879 G. F. Jackson (at cited word)
I like bread full of eyes, cheese without any.
1955 J. G. Davis
The holes or ‘eyes’..are the result of the propionic acid fermentation in the cheese.
The characteristic holes, cheese makers call them ‘eyes’—arise from inconsistent pressing during production and have historically been a sign of imperfection.
(a) The anus. Frequently with preceding adjective; cf. .
Absolon hath kist hir nether Iye.
1788 St. G. Tucker
He..Takes Robin's pipe from off the shelf..And to the stranger's nether eye The taper point he doth apply, And shoves it in, up to the bowl, So well he understood the hole.
1969 B. Frechtman tr. J. Genet 22
I loved the violence of his prick,..the back of his neck, and the dark, ultimate treasure, the ‘bronze eye’, which he did not grant me until very late, about a month before his death.
1990 C. Shafer in F. E. Abernethy 203
2007 W. Mosley
Her anus was small and pink... I ran my tongue around the puckered eye and she gasped.
(b) The urethral opening of the penis.
?a1450 J. Arderne in
xxiii. 119 (MED)
The smallere heed [of the clyster] that is tofore schalbe putte into the ye of the mannes yerd.
?1889 ‘C. Deveureux’ I. 162
This splendid weapon..slightly tapered until it reached its head, where it suddenly widened again only to taper quickly off to a rounded blunt point, where its ‘eye’ was.
1922 J. Joyce iii. xviii. 711
When I unbuttoned him and took his out and drew back the skin it had a kind of eye in it.
1979 R. L. Rowan
The small opening..is called the external urinary meatus, or the ‘eye of the penis’.
2007 R. Sheppard 46
A pipe had been inserted into the eye of my penis to carry excess fluid into the bag.
d. A hole pierced in a tool or implement, for the insertion of a handle or some other object.
1554 in T. Wright
For makynge the iee of the clapper [of a bell]..xiiijd.
1679 J. Moxon I. ix. 161
Put the Eyes of the Hindges over the Pins of the Hooks.
1747 W. Hooson sig. Ejb
When the Miner haums a Pick, there is always Some of the Haum comes through the Eye.
1796 G. Pearson in
Its [sc. the axe's] length from eye to edge was seven inches.
1827 J. F. Cooper I. ii. 26
He buried his axe to the eye, in the soft body of a cotton-wood tree.
1867 W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher 284
Eye of an anchor, the hole in the shank wherein the ring is fixed.
1881 F. J. Britten
The eye should be made close to the end of the spring, which should be rounded.
1951 Apr. 196/1
The cable is not attached directly to the eye of the anchor, but is simply lashed to the shank at the eye with a short length of strong cord.
2008 J. DeLaRonde x. 114/1
Return the axe to the fire and bring the back of the eye to a good yellow heat.
e. An opening or passage for the introduction or withdrawal of material (as in a kiln or furnace), or for exit or entry (as in a mine or a fox's earth).In the context of furnaces, cf. sense , with which some confusion may occur.
1584 in J. D. Marwick
Ilk stayn..beand of..twelf inche in the eye and ten inche in the hem.
1664 H. Power iv. 180
Sometimes, if the Damp draw towards the eye of the pit, then they set it into Motion by throwing down of Cole-sacks.
1686 Bp. G. Burnet v. 288
He comes out at the eye of the Milne all in Wafers.
1736 ii. i. 215
Having found a Fox's Earth, cause all his Holes you can find to be stopt (except the main Hole or Eye that is most beaten).
1780 A. Young
He burns it in arched kilns, with several eyes.
1812 Chron. 5/2
When the men employed at the lime-kiln..went to their work, they found a man and a woman lying dead on the edge of its eye.
1843 4 i. 27
The main drain opens into the ditch at a spot called the ‘eye’.
1884 E. H. Knight IV. 605
A damsel on the spindle..causes the grain to dribble into the eye of the runner.
1922 T. E. Thorpe
The hearth bottom thus formed slopes from the back to the open eye of the furnace and serves as a filter to separate the lead from the slags.
The impeller comprises a disc having a series of impeller blades, and defining with the casing an inlet passage or eye and a discharge passage.
Eye, the top or mouth of a shaft.
1969 43 25
The ‘banksman’ in charge of the ‘eye’ of the pit; the ‘check’ (where distinct from the banksman), his underground counterpart.
1998 R. F. Dalzell & L. B. Dalzell App. 230
Bell-shaped ‘eyes’, or tunnels, ran through the [brickmaking] kilns from end to end, with the number of eyes depending on the size of the kiln.
A spot resembling an eye.
In an animal organism.
†(b) A dark spot visible in a developing bird's egg, representing the germinal point on the yolk. Obsolete.
1653 W. Harvey xvi. 85
And from this Resemblance we call it Oculum Ovi, the Eye of the Egge.
I. at Egg
About the middle, between the chalazæ, on the side of the yelk, and in the membrane thereof, is a little vesica, or bladder, not unlike a vetch, or lentil, called the cicatricula, and by some the eye of the egg.
1895 18 May 712
The yolk of one average-sized hen's egg (from which the ‘eye’ has been removed).
(c) An eyespot on the wing of a butterfly or moth; an ocellus ().
1658 J. Rowland tr. T. Moffett Theater of Insects in
ii. xiv. 959
She hath four great wings, every one of them having eyes of divers colours.
1720 E. Albin Tab. IV
On the 6th of July came Forth a beautiful Butter-fly with Eyes in his Wings.
1752 J. Hill III. 75
The Papilio, with roundish brown wings, with three eyes under the primary ones, and five under the others.
1860 W. S. Coleman vi. 72
The ‘eyes’ are velvety black.
1876 IV. 596/2
Tropæa luna,..with wings of a lemon colour, each with a ‘transparent eye’.
1959 L. H. Newman 78
The centre of the eye is black and wine-red... The hind-wings also carry large eye-spots.
2006 M. Golley
Eyed Hawkmoths will, when disturbed, gently wiggle to and fro, exposing the eyes on the wing.
(d) Either of two small dark spots visible in the egg of a fish (or insect), representing the eyes of the embryo and indicating proximity of hatching. Cf. .
1840 J. Shaw 5
These two dark spots, however, ultimately turned out to be the eyes of the embryo fish.
1863 F. Buckland in G. C. Bompas
No eyes yet in the [trout's] eggs.
1908 L. Rhead xii. 299
When trout eggs are within a week or so of hatching they are called eyed ova, the eyes of the embryo fish being distinctly visible through the shell of the egg.
2007 B. 274 862/2
The [salmon] eggs..were incubated in the hatchery until eyes were visible (‘eyed eggs’).
In a plant or a part of a plant.
(a) A bud, (now) esp. one on a potato. Also: a recess on a potato in which a bud forms.potato eye: see the first element.
?1440 tr. Palladius
iii. l. 688 (MED)
His eyon [L. oculos] sowe, of cutte as is the reed.
1572 L. Mascall tr. D. Brossard L'Art et Maniere de Semer in 54
For to graffe a subtill way, take one oylet or eye of a graffe, slyt it round, aboue and beneath, and then behind downe right, then wreath him of, and set him vpon another cion..then dresse him as is aforesaide.
1618 W. Lawson x. 28
Let your graffe haue three or foure eyes, for readines to put forth.
1673 N. Grew ii. i. 56
Potato's [root], where the eyes of the future Trunks lie inward.
1728 E. Chambers
Oculi, Eyes, in botany, the gemmæ, or buds of a plant just putting forth.
1787 G. Winter 157
Six scotch potatoes, cut into thirty-three sets, with two eyes each.
1858 E. Lankester & W. B. Carpenter
The points commonly known as the eyes of the Potato.
1882 18 Mar. 183/2
Vine eyes from Spain..make better and stronger Vines than those propagated from eyes produced in this country.
1929 H. A. A. Nicholls & J. H. Holland
ii. iii. 154
Cacao... at the base of the stalk of the pod there is a little swelling, called the eye, and it is from this part that the flowers for the next crop will come out.
1967 A. E. Cox ii. 38
Redskin... Round, pink skin, white flesh, moderately deep eyes.
1999 July 11/1
To hull strawberries, use the pointed end of a potato peeler to dig out the stalks, like you do when you take the eyes out of potatoes.
(b) A circular or oval structure or marking on a fruit or seed; spec.
(a) the remains of the calyx, persisting in some fruits on the end opposite to the stalk;
(b) the hilum of a bean or other seed;
(c) the small opening at the end of a fig, through which pollinating fig wasps gain entry.
1587 T. Dawson
To keepe Apples, they lay them on straw strowed, the eye of the Apple downwards, and not the stemme.
1693 J. Evelyn tr. J. de La Quintinie ii. v. vii. 92
The best situation for Pears, their Figure being Pyramidal, is to be plac'd upon the Eye, with the Stalk upwards.
1703 W. Dampier 152
Another sort of small, red, hard Pulse, growing in Cods also, with little black Eyes like Beans.
The peasants, therefore, every morning, visit their wild fig-trees and their garden fig-trees; and carefully examine the eye of the fig.
1838 T. Thomson 961
Near that part of the lobes which is contiguous to what is called the eye of the bean, there is a small round white body [sc. the radicle].., which comes out between the two lobes.
1858 E. Lankester & W. B. Carpenter
By the remains of the calyx..the eye of the gooseberry is formed.
1944 R. Matheson xxi. 531
The adult female is winged and it enters the ‘eye’ of the caprifig in order to oviposit in the ‘gall flowers’.
2002 J. Morgan & A. Richards 178/2
Nevertheless, many varieties do display very characteristic features, such as the wide open eye of a Blenheim Orange, or the tightly closed eyes of Worcester Pearmain and McIntosh.
2012 J. Ray 53
The color [of crowder peas] often concentrates around the hilum, or eye.
(c) An area (typically of a distinct colour) at the centre of a flower.
1597 J. Gerard ii. cclxii. 641
In the middle or eie of the flower, it is of a whitish or pale colour.
1629 J. Parkinson xxxiiii. 235
The murrey Cowslip without eyes.
1682 S. Gilbert 49
The double deep Philomot, lightning towards the bottom into Lemmon colour to the white of the eye, large flower and indeed a fine one.
1766 at Auricula
The eye of the flower should be large, round, and of a good white or yellow.
a1777 S. Foote
For pip, colour, and eye, I defy the whole parish..to match 'em [sc. polyanthuses].
1819 J. Taylor 129
Adonis—Red Morocco... Its flowers are of a bright scarlet, with a black spot or eye at the bottom.
1870 J. D. Hooker 268
Corolla minute, pale blue with a white eye.
1904 30 July 77/1
The [Dianthus] flowers are pure white with a narrow crimson eye.
1974 S. Clapham xi. 93
The ray florets, which resemble petals and form the showy part of the complete flower-head; and the disc florets which form the flattish centre or ‘eye’.
24 Dec. 21
The cheery golden eye at the centre of each [bedding primrose] flower will put a smile on your face.
(d) Any of the three dark spots or germination pores at one end of a coconut. Also: a similar structure in the fruits of other palms.
1779 J. P. Fabricius 108/1
The three eyes or holes in a coconut-shell.
1807 F. Buchanan III. xiv. 50
The coconuts are placed, at one cubit's distance from each other, and buried so as just to be covered above the eyes.
1865 E. B. Tylor vi. 131
The diviner..will spin a cocoa-nut, and decide a question according to where the eye of the nut looks towards when at rest again.
1994 68 12/1
The yellow fleshy fruits [of Attalea crassispatha] are 32–45 mm long with sweet and mucilaginous fibers enclosing a nut with three eyes (basal pores), a characteristic of palms closely related to the coconut.
2005 A. Tawhai 164
A man knocked a nail through the eye of one of the husk-covered shells, and her son was able to dribble the fresh coconut milk into his mouth.
1681 N. Grew iii. 277
The Crowned Ocular Coral... In this, which is also white, to the eyes on the sides, are added little Heads crowned or radiated round about.
Next under the three Coal Veins is the Peaw Vein, so denominated because the Coal is figured with Eyes resembling a Peacock's Tayl.
1817 W. M. Craig tr. G. de Lairesse x. v. 165
Light marble is various; one sort entirely white, another bluish, a third flesh-colour, &c... They are all good when free from spots or eyes, and appear well against proper grounds.
1863 J. C. Robinson
The piece is grounded with an imbricated or scale pattern on blue, and is diapered with rosettes in turquoise, with dark blue and mulberry central spots or eyes.
1870 J. Roskell in 18 Mar. 647/2
When the button of melted copper..assumes a bright colour, and the centre, which the essayer calls the eye, being dark, the front brick is..drawn aside.
1913 J. Alexander in W. A. Davis & S. Sadtler
A brush-full of the glue solution is mixed with little aniline or other colour, and painted out on a piece of white paper, when spots or ‘eyes’ appear roughly proportionate to the amount of grease present.
1986 D. A. Napier vi. 201
Pupillary reactions to eyespot patterns. Experimenters have discovered that subjects have the strongest emotional response to two spots or ‘eyes’ set horizontally.
d. Geology. In a rock, esp. gneiss: a large lens-shaped mineral grain or body having a texture different from that of the groundmass. Cf. eye structure: see .Recorded earliest in eye gneiss.
1862 7 3
Of the many varieties of gneiss, one deserves special notice; it has been called Porphyroid gneiss, and differs from the characteristic gneiss in containing lenticular-shaped aggregations of feldspar in a fine schistose matrix. It is this variety which has sometimes been called Eye gneiss.
1866 P. H. Lawrence tr. B. von Cotta ii. ii. 233
Usually it [sc. orthoclase] occurs only in small grains, sometimes larger crystals or lentil-shaped masses so called, swellings or eyes (Schwielen, Augen), with the regular twin growth peculiar to orthoclase (porphyritic gneiss, augen-gneiss).
Besides the bands and streaks of pegmatite there are many ‘eyes’ of felspar.
1954 109 299
Each eye is either a single potash-felspar crystal or, sometimes, an aggregate of several felspar crystals.
1972 B. S. Jangpangi in A. G. Jhingran et al. II. 365
The foliated biotite gneisses of Darjeeling Hills..contain lenticles and ‘eyes’ of calc-silicate rocks.
2010 C. Owen et al.
Dramatically foliated and folded gneiss with some eyes, but not quite enough to call it an augen gneiss.
b. Applied (frequently as a conventional epithet) to a city, country, etc., which is likened to an eye, variously imagined as a shining or pre-eminent exemplar or as a channel through which a place sees or is seen.
1534 tr. L. Valla sig. Dv
He..shulde depriue himselfe of one of the .ii. eyes of the empier.
1572 W. Malim tr. N. Martinengo Ded. sig. Aiij
The eyes of the Realme, Cambridge, and Oxforde.
1602 L. Lloyd ii. x. 195
Athens, the schoole of learning, and the eye of Greece.
1622 R. Harris 16
If goodnesse must be acknowledged there, must it not in England, the face of Europe; in London, the eye of England?
1671 J. Milton iv. 237
Athens the eye of Greece.
1730 V. 280/1
Ipswich, as it is called the Eye of this Shire, and was really the most eminent for Trade and Buildings.
1761 II. v. 55
England has two Eyes, Oxford and Cambridge. They are the two Eyes of England, the two intellectual Eyes.
1845 R. W. Hamilton vii. 165
Massachusetts..is the eye of the States.
1878 R. B. Smith 355
Corinth the eye of Greece.
1913 N. B. Allen 142
If St. Petersburg is the eye of Russia, Moscow is the heart.
1988 E. Hoagland Arabia Felix in
Aden became known as ‘the Eye of Yemen’, because it was the Yemenis' sole opening to the Western world.
2011 R. Heikell
The Venetian fort guarded the shipping route around the Peloponnisos and Methóni, along with Koroni, was called ‘the eye of the Republic’.
c. (A name for) a natural feature, such as a hill or island, esp. one which is prominent or resembles an eye in form.Examples include Ireland's Eye, an uninhabited island north of Howth Harbour, Dublin, and the Eye of Quebec, the Manicouagan Reservoir and its lake island in central Quebec.
1600 P. Holland in tr. Livy xxi. 421
Mansalla, a citie in Sicilie, and a cape there, called the Eye of Sicily.
a1650 G. Boate
There lie also severall Rocks neer the little Ilands of Dalkee and Irelands-Eye.
1762 P. Murdoch tr. A. F. Büsching I. 284
From its convenient situation it [sc. Gottland] has justly acquired the name of the Eye of the Baltic.
1837 IX. 165/2
Ireland's Eye, a rocky picturesque island of thirty acres.
1891 J. M. Dixon at Eye
The eye of the Baltic—Gothland, or Gottland, an island in the Baltic.
1904 14 Sept. 5/1
A low rugged hill, nicknamed ‘Kuropatkin's eye’.
1959 W. Johnson in tr. A. Strindberg 239
Lake Siljan, one of the most attractive lakes in all Sweden, has been called ‘the eye of Dalarna’.
2010 W. S. Olsen 152
My eyes cannot pass Lake Manicouagan, in Quebec, a lake that looks like a circular river, narrow but round... The Eye of Quebec, it's been called. An easy landing.
b. Paired with hook (or occasionally clasp): the wire (or occasionally thread) loop on which the hook catches in a hook-and-eye fastening (see ).
1576 in J. Arnold
A Dublett Jerkenwise of russett satten cutt & drawne welted with white vellat lyned with white sarceonett with canvas hookes & eyes.
1587 in D. Yaxley
xxij claspes & eyes ijs. jd.
1599 J. Minsheu at Hevilla
Hooks and eies of siluer.
1672 E. Ashmole vii. 211
The Collar was usually fixed, an Hook and eye of Gold; for the surer fastning it about the shoulders.
1763 H. S. J. Giral del Pino I
Máchos y hémbras, hooks and eyes.
1841 Oct. 289/1
There are hooks and eyes placed at the edges of each breast..to close it.
1895 S. Klug xv. 49/1
Some seamstresses prefer to sew the hooks on one side and the eyes on the opposite edge.
One side must be left open,..press fasteners or hooks and eyes being used to close it.
2003 July 6/3
It had..a pocket for a tape measure and scissors, another for hooks and eyes and snaps, [etc.].
c. A loop of cord or rope; esp. (Nautical) one at the top end of a shroud or stay.
1584 R. Scot xiii. xxix. 337
Put the eie of the one [cord] into the eie or bowt of the other.
1627 J. Smith v. 21
Slings are made of a rope spliced at either end into it selfe with one eye at either end, so long as to bee sufficient to receiue the caske.
a1642 W. Monson
An Eye or two, and a Wall-knot.
1769 W. Falconer sig. D3v
Collet d'étai, the eye of a stay placed over a mast-head.
1797 Ld. Nelson in
Two pair of main-shrouds cut in the eyes.
1867 W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher 275
Elliot-eye..is an eye worked over an iron thimble in the end of a hempen bower-cable, to facilitate its being shackled to the chain for riding in very deep water.
1867 W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher 283
Flemish eye, particularly applied to the eye of a stay, which is either formed at the making of the rope; or by dividing the yarns into two equal parts, knotting each pair separately and pointing the whole over after parcelling.
1882 G. S. Nares
The eyes of the rigging.
1900 34 433
The beckets in the Australian Museum..are of plaited cord, with an ‘eye’ at one end and an ‘overhand’ knot, or a ‘grummet head’, at the other.
1937 July 89/3
The lanyards or lashings rove through eyes seized in ends of rope.
1987 I. Dear & P. Kemp 134/2
Rattle down, to, secure the ratlines to the shrouds with a series of clove hitches round each shroud except the forewardmost and aftermost, where the ratline is seized to the shroud through an eye.
b. The transparency and lustre of a pearl or precious stone; = . Obsolete.
1699 A. Boyer at Oeil
Perles qui ont un bel Oeil (ou une belle eau), Pearls that have a fine Eye or Water.
1736 N. Bailey et al.
Eye, the lustre and brilliant of pearls and precious stones, more usually call'd the water.
b. An imitation of a natural eye, esp. one made of glass; = . Cf. , . See also .
[1567 G. Fenton tr. M. Bandello f. 296v
A visarne or false beard of blacke heare curled like the Mauretyne, with a paire of counterfaite eyes of glasse.
1630 M. Drayton vi. 61
A piece of Silke, wherein there lyes For the decay'd, false Breasts, false Teeth, false Eyes.]
1750 tr. C. N. Le Cat 219
The Bottom of this Eye was extended on a transparent Paper perfectly plain.
1819 XVI. 601/1
When the legs and head are stuffed, the cavity of the skull filled with very dry moss, and the eyes fixed, wires are to be passed through the inside of the body.
1860 21 Apr. 35
A laborious class Who earn painful bread by fashioning dolls' eyes.
1896 Mar. 8/1
The processes used in manufacturing eyes for stuffed animals are far more simple than those employed in the manufacture of artificial human eyes.
1908 C. K. Reed & C. A. Reed
The eyes that you want for a jay are No. 6 brown.
1965 W. H. Billman 54
In the midst of one burst of applause Joey's eye fell out.
27 July c5
When she sold her first pair of eyes and received positive feedback from the buyer she knew she had a product other crafters wanted.
†b. Conchology. The umbilicus or apex of a gastropod shell. Obsolete. rare.
1755 Jan. 32/1
Volute, is that twist of spirals which winds round the axis or columella, diminishing by degrees, and ending in a point called the eye.
1755 Jan. 34/1
The eye [of the shell] is perfectly white, and shaped like a nipple.
b. The enclosed space surrounded by the form of certain letters, as d, e, o, etc.
1676 J. Moxon 22
In the Parallel of 23 draw a line for the Eye, from the inside of e to the outside on the right hand.
1877 E. V. Kenealy III. 91/2
The letter ‘e’ is like the letter ‘i’, and it is his habit in writing to close the eye of the letter ‘e’.
1900 19 May 6/3
Handwriting... Don't break your words on any account. Make the eye of the letter e larger.
2002 B. Dekeyzer in B. Cardon et al. I. 454
In a book of hours conserved in Vienna, the representation is in the eye of the letter D.
†c. Advertising. An eye-catching line at the top of a printed advertisement. Obsolete. rare.
1924 J. McKechnie viii. 111
In advertising, the line at the top is called the ‘eye’ of an advertisement.
†b. The bright area inside a furnace that can be viewed through a sight hole. Obsolete. rare.
1884 W. H. Greenwood vii. 126
A small slide containing a glass or mica plate, through which the state of the furnace may be observed; the bright spot thus seen is known as the ‘eye of the furnace’.
1904 G. F. Goodchild & C. F. Tweney 213/2
Eye of a furnace, the bright red spot in the hearth of a blast furnace seen through the nose of a tuyère by means of a mica-faced sight hole.
21. Nautical. In plural. The extreme forward part of the bows of a ship or boat, where the hawse-holes are located; (also occasionally) the hawse-holes themselves. Chiefly in the eyes of the ship (also the eyes of her , etc.).
Eyes of a ship, parties du vaisseau qui sont voisines des écubiers.
1836 J. F. Cooper II. vii. 108
Paul..seated himself directly in the eyes of the boat, with a leg hanging down on each side of the cutwater.
1840 F. Marryat xxii. 156
Being right in the eyes of her..we could [etc.].
1878 D. Kemp 343
Eyes of her, the extreme fore end of the ship near the hawse pipes, which are the ‘eyes of her’.
1890 W. C. Russell II. xix. 134
Sleeping as he did, right in the ‘eyes’, he got the very full of the motion.
1908 29 Apr. 4/1
There was also a man in the look-out—at what was called the eyes of the ship.
1919 14 June 4/3
Now, this striper takes me up in the eyes and shows me a little gadget, where all you had to do was press a doohickey, turn over a gimick, and blooey—it would sink every tin fish within a mile.
1969 F. Mowat
Hanging in the eyes of the ship, like a modern version of a baronial coat-of-mail, was Jack's steel and elastic corset.
2001 R. Gambee ii. 34/2
The catboat..is purely an American design, with its mast far forward in the ‘eyes’ of the boat.
a. The centre of a target; = . Also in figurative contexts.
1818 Mar. 237/1
No arrow was accounted a shot, but that which dislodged the eye from the target.
1839 J. H. Ingraham I. i. i. 26
The shaft, loosened from the string, cut the air and buried itself in the very centre of the golden eye of the target.
a1877 in E. H. Knight I. 819/1
Eye, the center of a target. A bull's-eye.
1954 69 786
‘The arrow of the word is launched, the sharp winged arrow of the word that whirs through the air’ and pierces the eye of the target.
2009 H. Mantel iii. ii. 253
Using his height, the beautiful trained muscles of his arms, shoulders and chest, he sends his arrows snapping straight to the eye of the target.
(a) In plural. Mining. A reserve of ore left in a mine to be worked at a later date (as when other ore is becoming scarce or inaccessible). Chiefly in to pick the eyes out and variants: to remove such a reserve; (also) to remove all the extractable ore during the initial working, leaving no reserve; to remove ore that is most easily extracted or of the highest quality.
1839 H. T. De la Beche 561
The ores thus left in various places are often termed the eyes of the mine; and when it may be necessary, in abandoning the mine,..to remove them, it is termed, picking out the eyes of the mine.
1854 3 254
In the latter stage of the old workings little more appears to have been done than picking the eyes out of the mine.
1855 J. R. Leifchild 148
By thus picking out the eyes, and sending them to market, a fictitious value is sometimes imparted to shares.
1870 Mar. 290/1
We ‘pick out the eyes of our mines’, to use a Cornish expression, at the close of every shipping season.
1939 15 26/1
A prospector who finds a small deposit will develop and exploit it as rapidly as possible to obtain a grubstake... He appears to give the most frequent example of..what the American engineers more expressively term ‘gutting’ or ‘picking the eyes out’ of a deposit.
1997 No. 25. 152
By granting long term concessions to large companies, the mining policy of the Congo ensured that the deposits would not be wasted by the short term practice of high-grading or ‘picking the eyes of the mine’.
(b) Australian and New Zealand. A desirable portion of a piece of land. Frequently in to pick (also take) the eyes out of (or from) .
1865 13 June
Sections were taken up and the ‘eye picked from the area’.
1865 23 June
The great prizes—the allotments which were the eyes of the runs.
1891 R. Wallace i. 24
The original settlers..had in colonial phraseology ‘picked the eyes out of the country’ in making their selection.
1945 S. J. Baker iii. 56
The word eye became the epitome of all that was choice in land.
1975 X. Herbert 786
The general idea is they'll pick the eyes out of the land, and that you're helpin' 'em.
2005 R. Siemon iii. 48
This usually brought instant taunts about his being a member of the squattocracy whose family picked the eyes out of the country.
†c. The dense central mass of a shoal of fish. to break the eye : to cause a shoal to break up when fishing with nets. Obsolete.
1864 5 371
The net being drawn through a ‘scull’ or shoal of the fish, breaks what is called the eye of the fish.
1867 W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher 284
Eyght, the thickest part of a scule of herrings; when this is scattered by the fishermen, it is termed ‘breaking the ey’.
1882 21 July 8/6
Into a creek in the bay of Brevig..there came an ‘eye’ or shoal of saithe fish so great as to afford simply miraculous hauls.
1907 N. Munro xxi. 178
Two skiffs combine to run a net round the shoal or ‘eye’ of fish.
d. The principal mass of lean meat in a rasher of bacon, cutlet, etc.
1904 Ann. Rep. Live Stock Assoc. Ont. 94 in
The carcass showed an exceptionally large ‘eye’ of lean meat.
1951 S. Bull vii. 77
The eye is more tender than the remainder of the bottom round and may be fried.
1959 30 Mar. 10/7
The eye of lean on the all important..back rasher was good in both breeds.
1966 22 July 10
The noisettes of lamb are..the small circular eye of meat in the cutlet.
1995 Mar. 152/1
For this recipe, the rack of lamb is frenched all the way down to the eye of the meat.
2006 1 May 47/3
This was the meat encased by the first four ribs, the ‘eye’ of the chops.
23. Any mechanical or electrical device resembling an eye in function or appearance. Cf. ,
1858 2 462
In other words, is the photographic eye more sensitive than the living eye?
1899 17 Jan. 5/2
Various experiments are being carried out in order to provide these vessels with ‘eyes’, and notably with an apparatus known as the periscope.
1933 Sept. 11/3
Batteries of the television eyes are likely to take their places alongside the microphones of radio announcers at sports events.
1955 15 Oct. 243/1
Humans are still needed to direct the plane until the 15-mile limit, when its radar ‘eyes’ spot the attacking bomber.
1974 H. Harrison 91
The viewscreen, using the robot's eyes as pickups, was filled with the angry face of the newcomer.
2002 7 July 32/1
His main project..was a robot eye attached to the Internet, which visitors from afar could control. It was one of the first-ever Webcams.
24. Painting, Sculpture, etc. The rounded sweep along the lower edge of a loose fold in drapery. Now rare.
1859 T. J. Gullick & J. Timbs 201
‘Eyes’, as the abrupt terminations of the longitudinal division of folds are named.
1904 G. W. Rhead ii. 9
Showing arrangement of the planes round the eyes of the drapery.
1940 B. Putnam x. 254
Try pinning up a cloth in various ways, and sketching the various folds, accentuating the ‘eyes’ as most of the old masters did in their studies of drapery.
a. at first eye: at first sight. In early use †at eye. Now rare.
1548 W. Patten sig. H.j
Our Captains that wear behinde, perceyuinge at eye that..they were not able to ony aduauntage to mainteine this onset.
It appered to every mann at eye the sayde partie was extincte.
a1682 Sir T. Browne
A weak Physiognomist might say at first eye, This was a Face of Earth.
1832 24 Oct.
I gained the interior of a cabin. I at first eye was below the level of its surface.
1986 6 Jan. 113/4
It was love at first eye, but no overtures were made because we were otherwise engaged.
b. before one's eyes: see .
†(a) by the eye: in unlimited quantity, without stint. Obsolete.
l. 477 (MED)
This cuppe hit hat Lonycoll..Fill it be þe ee, i þe pray.
?1521 sig. B.ivv
Unreasonably to drynke wyne and ale With hey howe fyll the pot by the eye And this is called euery good company.
c1592 C. Marlowe iii. iv
Thou shalt have broth by the eye.
1613 F. Beaumont ii. sig. D2
Here's mony and gold bi'th eie my boy.
(b) by eye (also by the eye): see sense .
Phrases with in
(i) in the eye(s) of : in the opinion, estimation, or judgement of (a person, group, etc.); formerly also with †on, †to. Similarly in the eyes of the world.in the public eye: see .
OE (Northumbrian) xxi. 42
A domino factum est istud et est mirabile in oculis nostris : from drihtnen was ðis & is wundurlic in egum usum [OE Rushw. in egum urum, OE Corpus Cambr. on urum eagum].
OE Wærferð tr. Gregory
i. v. 47
Þonne hi [sc. þa eadmodan] geseoð hi sylfe yfellice on þara manna eagum, hi þæs þonne gefeoð, forþon þe hi witon, þæt hi wile God geseon, þeah hi men forseon.
H. Lovelich xviii. l. 71
The stones weren so preciowse to his eye.
(Univ. Oxf. 64)
The psalmes..kyndils thaire willes..makand thaim..faire and lufly in cristi eghen.
1547 J. Harrison Pref. sig. a.ijv
A Ciuill warre..: a thyng..pernicious to the parties, and no lesse straunge in the iyes of reasonable men.
1597 W. Shakespeare iii. vii. 112
Some offence, That seemes disgracious in the Citties eies.
1645 E. Udall Serm. 37 in J. Shute
To his sad disconsolate wife, mourning too too much, in his eye [etc.].
1659 B. Harris tr. J. N. de Parival ii. i. xviii. 206
The King..became more considerable in the eyes of the World, then any of his predecessors.
1766 O. Goldsmith II. ix. 128
No other marriage of his shall ever be legal in my eye.
1882 W. Ballantine xix. 185
He was a man of mark in the eyes of my family.
1901 Feb. 212
This patricide policy will appear unpardonable in the eyes of future generations.
1944 J. Mockford 93
In the eyes of Paul Kruger..these gold grabbers were uitlanders, outlanders, foreigners.
2007 28 Feb. 17/1
The North Face of the Eiger ranks alongside Mt Everest as one of the two big ticks in mountaineering, at least in the eyes of the public.
(ii) in the eye(s) of the law : according to the terms or rules of the law; in the law's regard; also †in the eye of law. Similarly in the eye of logic, in the eyes of common sense, etc.
?1538 sig. Giv
An action of det, an action of accompte of couenaunt or of trespace: these and suche lyke be in the eye of the lawe manumissions.
1628 E. Coke f. 58
Court baron..in the eye of Law it hath relation to the Freeholders, who are Judges of the Court.
1761 D. Hume II. xxxvi. 286
Persons not lying under..attainder were innocent in the eye of the law.
1814 S. T. Coleridge II. 635
Jack, Tom, and Harry have no existence in the eye of the law, except as included in some form or other of the permanent property of the realm.
1869 E. A. Freeman III. xiii. 281
In the eye either of logic or of sound morals, his fabric was but as a house of cards.
1907 21 Mar. 8/2
He is paranoic, and while insane, he is not insane in the eyes of the law, for, strictly speaking, he knows the nature and quality of his acts.
1958 R. K. Narayan x. 199
He had absolved many a public swindler in the public eye and in the eye of the law.
1995 Jan. 23/1
Women will never be equal to men in the eyes of the law until and unless women possess the right to become unpregnant.
(iii) beauty is in the eye of the beholder and variants: beauty is not judged objectively, but according to personal estimation; (more generally) something which one person finds attractive or admirable may not appeal to another. Hence of other qualities: to be in the eye of the beholder .
[Compare Hellenistic Greek ἠ̂ γὰρ ἔρωτι πολλάκις..τὰ μὴ καλὰ καλὰ πέφανται ‘for in the eyes of love that which is not beautiful often seems beautiful’ (Theocritus Idyll 6. 18)]
1630 Bp. J. Hall xxxviii. 94
Outward beauty is more in the eye of the beholder, then in the face that is seene.
1652 W. Jenkyn vi. 508
Outward evils are but appearing, and opinionative, and all their deformity is in the eye of the beholder.
1733 P. Shaw tr. F. Bacon Disc. War with Spain in II. 187
The old Observation is true, that the Spaniards Valour lies in the Eye of the Looker on; but the English Valour lies about the Soldier's Heart.
1774 O. Goldsmith II. 265
Beauty seems a very uncertain charm; and frequently is less in the object, than in the eye of the beholder.
1847 C. Brontë II. ii. 45
Most true is it that ‘beauty is in the eye of the gazer’.
1883 25 Jan. 37/2
The editor explained to him that as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so does praise in the recipient's ear.
1917 Apr. 151
I know too well the old retort that modesty and indecency are all in the eye of the beholder.
21 Aug. 44
Value, as any metaphysicist knows, is in the eye of the beholder.
30 Dec. 7
Many people like the look of wind turbines—beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
†(b) in one's eye : = . Obsolete.
More happie is he, whose nature, grace hath reformed, to haue God alone alwaies in his eye.
1600 P. Holland tr. Livy vi. 228
How could they chuse, but have still in their eie the armie of the Gaules, clambring up the Cliffe Tarpeia?
c1680 W. Beveridge
He must always have it in his eye.
1713 G. Berkeley in 14 May 1/1
The Sages whom I have in my Eye speak of Virtue as the most amiable thing in the World.
1726 G. Leoni tr. L. B. Alberti II. 55 b
Some had nothing in their eye, but adorning that which was to contain the body.
1791 ‘G. Gambado’ To Rdr. p. iv
Having the safety of man's neck in my eye.
†(c) in the eye: in appearance. Obsolete.
1598 F. Meres f. 200
Those kingdoms & cities which the diuell shewed to our Sauiour Christ vpon the mountaine, were not true riches, but fantasticall and sightly in the eye.
a1622 J. Randall
The Church was distinguished in it selfe in many respects, the last whereof was this, in regard of the outward state of it in the eye and appearance to the World.
1684 R. Howlett 117
Mark out the Head of your Pond, and make it the highest part of the Ground in the eye, tho' it be the lowest in the true Level.
e. through the eye(s) of : from the viewpoint or perspective of; as seen or viewed by (a particular person or group). Cf. .In later use esp. with reference to the narrator or protagonist of a book or film.
1685 M. Bryan 17
The Judge..is to proceed secundum allegata & probata, according to the Evidence, whether true or false, for he sees through the eyes of others: and so every one may not have Justice done him.
1794 T. Packer 21
Perhaps you intended this letter for your numerous followers only: it may suit those who have no eyes of their own, but must see through the eye of their leader.
1841 C. E. Lester I. 209
In every instance the proprietors and overlookers, who led me round, wished me to look at every thing through their eyes.
1870 O. Logan (title page)
Exhibiting the ‘show world’ as seen from within, through the eyes of the former actress, as well as from without, through the eyes of the present lecturer and author.
1899 26 Oct. 7/1
Looking..at the old Homeland through the eyes of Young Australia.
1916 Apr. 283/2
The ‘Spoon River Anthology’..portrays the life of a country town as seen through the eyes of a criminal lawyer.
1971 16 Feb. 10/1
‘Groovin’, a film depicting the dangers and motivations of ‘pot’ smoking as examined through the eyes of 14-18 year olds.
2003 A. Notaro vii. 70
The idea was to try and see the world through their eyes and look at the pluses and minuses of being a gay man in Ireland in the new millennium.
f. under (also beneath) the eye(s) of : under the observation or attention of; also with modifying adjective.
[?1596 J. Dickenson sig. A4
A Snake slilie creeping into the foolish birds late forsaken nest deuoured the sillie yonglings not garded as before with the warie Mothers watchfull eie.]
1641 J. Milton 36
He..hath yet ever had this Iland under the speciall indulgent eye of his providence.
1668 P. Rycaut
i. xv. 68
The inhabited Cities..are immediately under the eye of a vigilant Commander.
1729 T. Prior 55
We have discover'd a long Scene of Running of Brandy, even in our Metropolis, where Officers abound, and are under the immediate Eye of the Commissioners.
1782 Jan. 45/1
So shall our babes in safety dwell Beneath thy watchful eye.
1824 T. Medwin
I had..fallen under the eye of the Government.
1886 8 Feb. 7/4
His vigilance unmasked what..turned out to be slavery in all respects carried on under the very eyes of the British authorities.
1906 U. Sinclair v. 67
You might easily pick out these pace-makers, for they worked under the eyes of the bosses, and they worked like men possessed.
1953 D. Whipple xxv. 219
There was only that glance at her mother to see if she would pass muster under the eyes of the Weston girls and the Mowbrays.
2006 N. Plakcy & S. Sakson 55
I grew up under the watchful eye of a sweet Kerry Blue Terrier.
g. up to the (also one's) eyes
(a) With in: immersed or involved deeply or to the limit in; extremely busy with. Chiefly figurative.
1607 R. West sig. F3
Vp to the very eyes in durt and mire, Bridewell hath often paid you for your hire.
1761 tr. Voltaire 83
She was up to the eyes in love; and that's what has made her fortune.
1809 J. W. Croker in L. J. Jennings 12 Oct.
I am..up to my eyes in business, the extent of which is quite terrific.
1859 J. Kavanagh
The scrivener gravely asked for her mother, and found the good lady up to her eyes in soap-water.
1916 V. Bell
Clive doesn't write at all, only a line to say he's up to his eyes in politics.
1998 J. White p. xii
You read in the papers about how much we're pulling down and you think we're buried in cash, up to our eyes in wallop.
2006 I. Rankin xvii. 249
‘Profits made’, Rebus added, ‘from selling to dodgy dictators and spit-poor nations already up to their eyes in debt.’
(b) Very much; completely, extensively; to the limit, to a very great degree. Frequently with preceding adjective. Occasionally without up. Cf. . painted up to the eyes: heavily made-up with cosmetics.
1672 J. Eachard Let. 22 in
To eat Custards with spoons was abominably scandalous, but to be engag'd in Sack-possett up to the eyes, with Ladles, was Christian, Orthodox, and Brotherly.
1786 E. Sheridan 2 July
Miss or Mrs McCartney who was sitting with her poor palsied head dress'd with flowers and painted up to the eyes.
1848 E. Ruskin Let. in W. James
Lady Morgan who is..painted up to the eyes.
1866 A. Trollope
I. viii. 97
All the Burtons are full up to their eyes with good sense.
1883 C. Reade in July 206/2
A neighbour's estate, mortgaged up to the eyes, was sold under the hammer.
1885 A. Dobson 4
The ladies of St. James's! They're painted to the eyes.
1949 A. Wilson 89
Daisy's up to her eyes at the minute trying to jog the local party into action.
1966 G. Ryga 109
On Saturday night you can still hear him coming down the road from town, beered up to the eyes.
1993 R. Murphy i. 14/1
Worby took a job as a lorry driver and at a transport café met the road girls, ‘painted up to the eyes’.
(a) with all one's eyes (also with all the eyes in one's head , etc.): with an intense or keen gaze, intently; with full attention.
1483 W. Caxton tr. J. de Voragine f. cclxxviv/1
The good man receyued it [sc. a relic of St Augustine]..in grete reuerence, and honoured hit euery day deuoutely, and touched with all his eyen.
1548 N. Udall et al. tr. Erasmus I. Matt. Pref. f. iijv
Ought with all the iyen in their heades to watche.
1675 V. Alsop iii. 203
Take the Book and read with all the Eyes you have, and can borrow, and there you shall find the clear contrary.
1694 L. Echard tr. Plautus Rudens ii. ii, in tr. Plautus 165
I've been searching with all the Eyes i'my Head, to find out my Master.
1769 H. Brooke IV. xvii. 218
Homely gazed with all his eyes, and stood mute through astonishment.
1798 R. M. Roche I. ii. 25
She stared at him with all the eyes in her head, which perhaps drove him away.
1860 W. H. Russell II. xiii
I looked with all my eyes, but they failed to detect any difference.
1898 Sept. 290
The engineer, who was watching the advent of the storm with all his eyes.
1925 M. Leary 63
He set there all alone, where he could look at Miss Langdon with all his eyes.
1995 W. H. Turner
I looked with all my eyes and I had my gun with me, and I shot right where I heard the noise and it shut right up.
(b) with the eye(s) of : from the viewpoint or perspective of; as if one were (another person).
1596 ‘L. Pyott’ tr. A. Sylvain 205
Behold the one or the other [of the children] with the eie of a mother in law.
1694 tr. G. P. Marana VI. iii. viii. 214
I advise thee to read it with the Eyes of a Stoick; That is, whether it pleases thee or not, regard it not farther than it agrees with Reason.
1742 A. Pope 526
Self-conceit to some her Glass applies, Which no one looks in with another's eyes.
1819 Ld. Byron lxviii. 37
I can't tell whether Julia saw the affair With other people's eyes, or if her own Discoveries made.
1907 Feb. 302
The ability to put himself in another's place, to look at things with another's eyes.
1973 G. M. Brown vii. 139
If..we could look with the eye of an angel on the whole history of men..it would have the brevity and beauty of this dance at the altar.
I..try to see it with the eyes of a first-time visitor or freshman.
Phrases with verbs.
a. to be all eyes : to watch attentively, be keenly observant; to be alert and vigilant. Cf. . Also simply (as a command) all eyes.
a1616 W. Shakespeare
iv. i. 59
No tongue: all eyes: be silent.
1640 R. West in E. Chilmead tr. J. Ferrand sig. b8
Cupid is now turn'd Man; and is all eyes; Tis only hard to Love, and not be Wise.
1662 R. Codrington tr. G. Ruggle ii. v. sig. G4v
Tri. We will fright him hence; Be you but vigilant and lie close, and we shall doe well enough. Ant. I will be all eyes my Trico.
1762 W. Harris 422
Cromwell was all eyes. He saw every thing, he judged of every thing.
1800 A. Plumptre tr. A. von Kotzebue 23
The curtain drew up: I was all eyes, all ears. Not a word, a look, or an attitude, escaped me.
1906 21 Jan. (Comic section) 1
Nemo was all eyes and no ears and the result was a delightful excursion into the grandest region ever dreamed of.
2002 J. McGahern
When Patrick Ryan drew up in an expensive car that dropped him at the church gate he was all eyes.
b. to believe one's (own) eyes
[compare Middle French, French en croire ses yeux (end of the 12th cent. in Old French)]
: to believe or accept what one is seeing. Chiefly in negative contexts. Cf. .
1548 N. Udall et al. tr. Erasmus I. Luke xxiv. f. ccv
They did neither perfectly beleue theyr owne iyes, nor theyr eares, nor theyr handes.
1627 G. Hakewill iii. i. 155
Those which had seene him & knowne him before, could then scarce beleiue their owne eyes.
1764 T. Mortimer I. vi. 482/1
Wallace, who narrowly watched all the motions of the English, could hardly believe his eyes when he saw them preparing to cross the river.
1807 C. Lamb I. 200
Lear at first could not believe his eyes or ears, nor that it was his daughter who spoke so unkindly.
1877 24 Nov. 441/3
I could scarcely believe my eyes, as I saw him galloping over the hill out of sight.
1922 L. F. Perkins 101
Jean was so astonished that for an instant she could not believe her own eyes.
2006 J. B. Quinn vii. 170
Believe your own eyes. The research on index funds is right.
c. to catch the (also a person's) eye
(a) Also to take (also strike, †fix) the eye . Of an object of attention: to become apparent to a person's sight, to attract someone's (esp. favourable) notice.to meet the eye: see .
1585 Abp. E. Sandys To Rdr. sig. ¶3
Words spoken are soone come soone gon but written withall,..by striking aswell the eye of the reader..may perse his heart the better.
1608 B. Jonson Masque of Blacknesse in sig. A4v
Which decorum made it more conspicuous, and caught the eye a far of with a wandring beauty.
1634 Bp. J. Hall
Deformities and infirmities of body do more easily both draw and fix the eye then an ordinary symmetry of parts.
1715 J. Richardson 62
The Death of Ananias..immediately takes the Eye.
1716 A. Pope Epist. Jervas in J. Dryden tr. C. A. du Fresnoy
Thy well-study'd Marbles fix our Eye.
1754 D. Hume I. 136
On the revival of letters..this false glister catches the eye, and leaves no room..for the durable beauties of solid sense and lively passion.
1820 J. Lingard IV. iii. 171
Their [sc. the king's agents] success..was emblazoned to catch the eye of the public.
1883 Aug. 629/1
Ah graceful sky-swung hawks that took The eye with beauty's curve in air.
1961 P. G. Wodehouse 41
Dolly Molloy unquestionably took the eye.
1988 B. Orser i. 28
Although I missed the podium, I did catch the eye of the Canadian Figure Skating Association.
1992 9 Oct. 11/4
Kings Fountain, a tall, good-looking sort, took the eye in the paddock with his well-being.
(b) Of a person: to meet the glance of another with one's own, either by chance or design.to collect eyes: see .
1748 W. Whitehead Youth & Philosopher in R. Dodsley II. 254
The charioteer drew nigh, And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye.
1813 J. Austen I. iii. 21
He looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, [etc.].
1866 A. Trollope I. v. 106
Clara caught her cousin's eye and smiled.
1883 ‘G. Lloyd’ I. 11
Here he caught Pauline's eye and stopped.
1936 G. Greene i. 15
‘Oh yes,’ she said, catching the eye of a dago in a purple suit through the pane.
2006 N. S. Dhaliwal v. 76
Afterwards he'd idle in the steam room, or in the jacuzzi, watching the men, hoping to catch the eye of a chubby-chasing hunk.
†d. to change eyes (with) : (as a poetical conceit) to exchange amorous glances (with). Also to mingle eyes . Obsolete (archaic in later use).
a1616 W. Shakespeare
iii. xiii. 159
Would you mingle eyes With one that tyes his points.
a1616 W. Shakespeare
i. ii. 444
At the first sight They haue chang'd eyes .
1651 W. Davenant vii. 207
She thinks that Babes proceed from mingling Eies.
1896 F. S. Boas x. 203
Romeo has but to change eyes with Juliet, and his love in idleness for Rosaline is annihilated, only to give place to a far more absorbing passion.
e. to close an eye : to shut one's eyes in sleep, to go to sleep; (also) to relax one's concentration; similarly †to put (also lay) one's eyes together : to get to sleep. Chiefly in negative contexts.
1580 A. Munday ii. 95
I could not lay mine eyes together for the ioy I conceyued.
1608 R. Tofte tr. L. Ariosto i. 5
His Page that dares not close an eie, Vntill the Bergamiskes industriously, Beat on their anuils.
1633 T. James 36
Not one of them put his eyes together all the night long.
1639 R. Davenport iii. i. sig. Ev
Frier Bernard's fast, he snores and sleepes as Snug as any Pigge in Pease-straw; but my selfe Cannot once close an eye.
1657 J. Davies tr. H. D'Urfé I. 110
He was so intent upon this new growing love, that he had not closed an eye all the night.
1707 J. Stevens tr. F. de Quevedo 405
He could not lay his Eyes together.
1750 I. iv. 52
I could scarce lay my Eyes together for thinking of their unhappy Fate.
1751 T. Smollett I. xx. 149
All night long he closed not an eye, but amused himself with plans of pleasure.
1814 D. H. O'Brien 132
I never closed an eye. The night at length elapsed.
1886 L. Morris iv. ii. 145
I have not closed an eye for the last two nights.
1904 R. Leighton iv. 43
Go thou, then, back to bed; yet close not an eye or an ear, but attend to all they say.
1954 M. Chase 27
My old lady never closes an eye till I get in.
1990 B. Joyce 157
I did not close an eye, nor did I take one step from my post. This I swear, and if I speak false, let God smite me as I stand.
f. to cry (also †weep, etc.) one's eyes out : to weep bitterly or at length. Cf. , , and .
l. 1002 (MED)
His eyen out he wepe.
1566 W. Adlington tr. Apuleius i. ii. f. 2v
With face and visage bloubered with teares, in suche sorte that she hath welny wept out both her eies.
1655 T. Fuller i. 36
So blubber'd with Teares, that she may seem almost to have wept her Eyes out.
1696 tr. J. Dumont xv. 189
He'll e'en let 'em cry their Eyes out, without deigning to take notice of 'em.
1738 J. Swift 27
I can't help it, if I would cry my Eyes out.
1808 G. Colman 17
Poor little heart! she'll cry her sweet pretty eyes out.
1891 T. Hardy II. xxi. 4
The poor maid—or young woman rather—standing at the door crying her eyes out.
1919 ‘K. Mansfield’ 1 Nov.
A wooden tray holding a manuscript..which is all spattered over with drops of rain & looks as though some sad mortal had cried his pretty eyes out over it.
1964 M. Stewart
I saw it at Stratford, the last performance, and cried my eyes out over the ‘this rough magic I here abjure’ bit.
2005 Apr. 73/1
I was once at a funeral, sobbing my eyes out, when some muppet approached me.
g. Chiefly U.S. colloquial and regional (southern). to cut one's eyes (also eye) (at a person) : to cast a glance or glances (at a person), esp. furtively or coldly; to catch (a person's) glance; (Caribbean) to glance at (a person), catching the eye, and then deliberately turn away, as an insult. Also †to cut eyes .
1803 22 Oct. 211/2
The girls kept cutting their eyes at me—that was'nt more than I expected—I liked that—but whispering I do detest.
1827 L. Dow
Went to New York, took steamboat to New Brunswick thence stage No. 7, strangers crossed words and cut eyes.
1837 3 233
‘Why, we thought about here’ said he ‘that you were cutting your eye at Miss Gatty.’
1885 ‘C. E. Craddock’ xv. 288
Ter see him cut his blazin' eye aroun' at ye, ye'd low ez he'd never hearn o' grace.
1938 M. K. Rawlings xi. 102
Look at him cut his eyes.
1961 F. G. Cassidy vii. 137
A cut-eye is the action of ‘cutting’ the eye at someone by way of insult—that is, catching the person's eye, then deliberately turning one's own away.
2006 P. Williams-Forson i. v. 148
I have been witness to black women in church kitchens cutting their eyes at one another or arguing about whether or not a dish should be cooked a certain way.
2007 A. Theroux xlvii. 786
She cut her eyes at Jeff coldly now, making the narrow slits watchful.
h. to do (a person) in the eye : to defraud, injure, humiliate (a person). Cf. . Now rare.
1891 J. M. Dixon 92
The jockey did your friend in the eye over that horse.
1908 20 May 367/1
Done in the eye again. What on earth do you expect?
1922 F. M. Ford 12 Feb.
I have just caught a publisher out, doing me in the eye flagrantly over concealed profits.
1941 G. de Poncins & L. Galantière
ii. i. 128
It was only after they got back to the igloo, that, each time, Utak saw he had once again been done in the eye by his wife.
1985 E. Wright i. 54
I just like to do Maud in the eye sometimes, Charlie.
†(a) to give good eye: to pay close attention to, watch attentively. Also to bear good eyes upon . Obsolete.
a1475 J. Russell Bk. Nurture
Looke ye bere good yȝes Vppon oþur connynge kervers.
1564 H. Middlemore tr. sig. Dvijv
There were good eye geuen, that ther came nere him, no contempnor of God.
1587 J. Hooker tr. Giraldus Cambrensis Vaticinall Hist. Conquest Ireland i. xli. 26/2 in
Maurice Fitzgerald..gaue good eie and watched the matter verie narowlie.
(b) to give an eye to : to give a share of one's attention to.
1543 J. Bale sig. Giijv
Thys coude not my lorde reprehende had he not an eye geuen to wyckednesse.
1614 W. Raleigh iv. iv. §6. 249
Eumenes was so ouer-laboured both in bodie and minde, that he could not giue an eye to euery place.
1775 F. Spilsbury
All meats and drinks are but relatively good or bad with respect to circumstances, which are best determined by giving an eye to the temperaments and the causes of the diseases which afflict our patients.
1790 W. Marshall I. 367
The only attention bestowed upon this class of stock being, to give an eye to the fences, the pasture, and the water.
1849 J. F. Cooper II. i. 6
You can continue to work the saw and the axes, but I will give an eye to strengthening the craft in-board.
1891 T. Hardy I. xi. 137
Now, you sit there. That will keep away the damp. Just give an eye to the horse—it will be quite sufficient.
1922 Sept. 26/1
He overhauled his ship for himself, from keelson to truck, and gave an eye to all his crew.
1960 G. W. Target
She was a good sort, always willing to give a hand's turn. ‘I'll give an eye to her—she'll be all right.’
1987 E. Newby
‘I will give an eye to the holiday houses,’ he said.
(c) (one) would give one's eyes : (hyperbolically) one would (be prepared to) make a great sacrifice or be willing to give up anything (to be able to do a specified thing, or for something). Also (one) would give one's left (also right) eye . See similar phrases at , and .
1609 W. Shakespeare i. ii. 236
I warrant Hellen to change would giue an eye to boote.
1639 T. D. iv. i. sig. E2v
I'de give one eye to see her with the other.
1691 tr. G. P. Marana III. ii. ii. 144
Our beloved Eunuch, can still converse with his Friends; which is a Privilege, the Deaf would almost give their Eyes to enjoy.
1705 C. Cibber iii. 24
I know you'd give your Eyes to make me Uneasie now.
1804 M. Edgeworth Manufacturers iii, in II. 348
I am sure she is really and truly sorry; and would give her eyes to get me out of this scrape.
1857 A. Trollope II. xiv. 273
Bertie would give his eyes to go with you.
1875 L. Troubridge Jrnl. in
I gave up directly with a very good grace, considering that I would have given my eyes to go.
1918 W. Faulkner Let. 19 Sept. in
I'd give my right eye for some scrambled eggs and toast and Kraft cheese and jelly and fried chicken and peaches.
1957 R. Matthews tr. J.-J. Servan-Schreiber i. ii. 64
The bastards, I'd have given my eyes to be there!
2008 R. Benway xxvi. 229
There are twenty thousand girls who would give their left eye to be you right now.
(d) to give (a person) the eye
(i) To look at (a person) in a threatening, antagonistic, or disapproving way; to direct a warning glance at.
1901 Jan. 99/1
If People did not Buy in a Hurry he would slam the Boxes around and be Lippy and give them the Eye.
1949 A. I. Bezzerides xi. 108
He removed his cigar and spat down once, holding his eyes steadily on him. ‘Get him giving me the eye,’ the trucker said. ‘Go ahead, burn a hole in me.’
28 Dec. b1
Say you walk into a delicatessen in New York and the counterman gives you the eye. Maybe you look too scruffy for the neighborhood.
2011 D. Precious 47
But Mom gave me the eye like she was at the end of her rope. We were taking the truck.
(ii) To look at (a person) with obvious sexual interest or intent; to ogle.
1915 8 Aug. (Mag. section) 3/3
A fat whisky salesman breezed in from the bar.., and gave her the eye. You couldn't really blame him.
1946 M. Mezzrow & B. Wolfe ii. 19
I could see myself..strutting down the main drag blowing my sax while the chicks lined up along the curb, giving me the eye all the way.
1990 Feb. 75/1
If I really fancied someone, I'd give him the eye, but I'd be subtle about it.
2005 P. Robinson
A couple of kids who didn't look old enough to drive stood smoking and playing the machines, giving her the eye as she walked past, staring at her breasts.
(a) to have eyes to see and variants: to be observant or discerning; (also) to be able to see what is obvious.
[In quot. ultimately after Hebrew 'ăšer ʿēnayim lāhem lir'ōṯ, lit. ‘to whom there are eyes to see’ (Ezekiel 12:2).]
In later use sometimes perhaps with allusion to Ezekiel 12:2.
Ezek. xii. 2
Sone of man, thou dwellist in mydil of an hous terrynge to wraththe, whiche han eyen for to see [L. qui oculos habent ad videndum], and seen not, and eris for to here, and heren not.
1533 J. Frith sig. A.7v
They open the misterie of all our mater to them that haue eyen to see.
1588 G. Withers Ep. Ded. sig. A3v
All that are wise, and haue eies to see, do perceiue, that in this maner of dealing, they do but vtter their owne shame.
1648 W. L. 11
This is one obsticle in the way of great men, who if they had eyes to see, they might know that the service of God and his Church, is..the highest honour.
1789 Mar. 135/2
The influence of the fair sex over the men is great and universal... He that has eyes to see will be convinced of it in relation to others.
1829 12 Sept. 79/3
All who have eyes to see, have been struck with the bustling regularity with which they move.
1875 J. J. Stevenson 25
What a wealth of architectural design he could have given us if we had eyes to see and heart to receive it.
1912 L. Strachey vi. 228
To him who had eyes to see, there might be significance in a ready-made suit of clothes, and passion in the furniture of a boarding-house.
1939 E. M. Forster 18
With this type of person knocking about, and constantly crossing one's path if one has eyes to see or hands to feel, the experiment of earthly life cannot be dismissed as a failure.
2008 15 Feb.
(Midwest Final ed.)
The mayor's buffers are well known to anyone with eyes to see. They roll in money.
(b) to have an eye to (also †in) : to look to, pay attention to; to have as one's object, have regard for; to have reference to. with an eye to: with a view to; with a design upon.to have an eye to the main chance: see .
But euere to gode god hath is eye.
c1425 J. Lydgate
iv. l. 1108 (MED)
Ȝif þat we Koude han an eye in oure felicite.
(St. John's Cambr.)
I pray ȝhow..That nane of ȝow for gredynes Haf E till tak of thair Riches.
1526 W. Bonde iii. sig. AAiv
Some feareth synne and payne bothe, hauynge an eye and respecte to bothe, in maner indifferently.
1593 T. Nashe 67
Haue an eie to the maine-chaunce.
1612 F. Bacon
Men will Counsell with an eie to themselues.
1691 J. Evelyn
Have still an eye to the weeding and cleansing part.
1713 R. Steele No. 11. 74
A Man will have an Eye to his first Appearance in Publick.
1756 C. Lucas iii. 285
The gentlemen of the corporation..have..no small eye to gain.
1834 14 June
All these buildings are of brick, and the materials were collected and the workmanship was done with an eye to the future.
1861 G. W. Thornbury I. 358
He collects analytical diagrams of Dutch boats, with an eye to get nearer to Vandervelde.
1888 J. A. Froude 40
Gold and silver plate, he observed with an eye to business was..abundant.
1903 H. James iii. vii. 102
He was now so interested..that he had already an eye to the fun it would be to open up to her afterwards.
1943 Jan. 44/1
But the Army has an eye to the future, too, and the process of taking more and more from the airlines..has stopped.
2005 12 May 6/3
She frames her plea with an eye to the prejudices of those she needs to convince.
(c) to have eyes for and variants: to pay attention to; to be interested in or attracted to (frequently in contexts excluding all but one person or thing); (also in strengthened use) to desire or want badly.
[Compare French n'avoir d'yeux que pour to have eyes only for (someone) (1626 in the passage translated in quot. ).]
1657 J. Davies tr. H. D'Urfé II. 95
They never observe anothers, have no eyes for any but for them they love [Fr. n'ayans des yeux que pour voir ce qu'ils aiment].
1783 tr. F. Algarotti
Our lovers have eyes only for us [It. come in noi sole mirano i nostri vaghi].
1810 J. Porter IV. xii. 357
Helen had eyes for none but Wallace.
1896 Mar. 541/1
Sue says that Ruth had eyes for nobody but the country buck.
1923 J. S. Huxley i. 56
To be so horrifiedly fascinated by it as not to have eyes for anything else.
1934 A. Dubin
(title of song)
I only have eyes for you.
1948 3 July 28
Have you eyes for a sandwich?
1951 W. Sansom xiii. 189
There's a gaz-and-pneu baron from Bormes has only eyes for her.
1971 D. Wells & S. Dance ii. 29
Higgie threw a hand grenade at the boss's wife. (A hand grenade is a note saying, ‘I want to see you,’ or ‘I got eyes for you.’).
2004 Apr. 100/2
The Baked Alaskan Salmon traditional roast potatoes and sauce charon was the only thing she had eyes for.
(d) Sport (Billiards, Shooting, Cricket, etc.). to have (also get) one's eye (also eyes) (well) in : to be or become able to judge distance and direction accurately, during a session of play (or other activity); to become accustomed to the pace of a game.
1865 J. Pycroft xi. 216
As to his guess hits..we can only suppose..that he reserves them till his ‘eye is well in’, and he has observed the uniform break or rise of the ball.
1882 1 July 4/6
Bannerman..though he must have fairly ‘got his eye in’, scarcely ever attempted to hit.
1884 No. 316. 482
Their eyes were well in.
1912 A. Brazil vii. 115
When you're in doubt, watch each ball carefully, till you get your eye in.
1918 22 Mar. 6/1
They repair to the drill ground, upon which has been laid out a baseball diamond, and get their arms limber and their eyes ‘in’.
1957 R. Galton & A. Simpson
That's better, I've got my eye in now, I'm landing them just where I want them.
2006 Oct. 38/4
They had time..to get their eye in and get used to the courts, balls and surroundings.
(e) U.S. slang (originally Jazz). to have eyes and variants: to desire or want (to do something). Also no eyes: (as an interjection) indicating lack of interest or intent. Now rare.
1955 L. Feather x. 346
Eyes, desire, ambition. (‘No eyes’—‘I'm not interested’.)
1961 R. Russell i. 18
Think you'd have eyes to work with him?
1967 D. G. Taggart viii. 63
He looked like he's got eyes.
1970 T. Southern vi. 171
‘I was wondering..if you'd fucked Angie yet.’.. ‘No, man,..I'm not sure I've got eyes.’
1986 J. Pietsch 133
A jazz musician's..son is plucking the petals from a daisy..saying ‘She digs me, got no eyes; digs me, got no eyes.’
(f) to have (two) eyes in one's head and variants: to be able to see clearly; (also figurative) to be able to perceive, comprehend, or recognize something; to have good sense.
[In quot. with allusion to Ecclesiastes 2:14: ‘For a wise man hath his eyes in his head, but the foole goeth in darknesse’ (Bishops' Bible, 1568).]
1579 J. Stubbs sig. E2
And I besech God graunt hir at that time to haue hir eyes in hir heade euen in that sence in which Salomon placeth a wise mans eyes in his head.
1600 F. Johnson xii. 119
The case is so cleare, as if you have your eies in your head, you can not but see it.
1620 tr. G. Boccaccio I. iv. ii. f. 149
What? Haue you no eyes in your head? Can you not distinguish between mine, and these other common beauties?
a1726 M. Clarke
You had need have your eyes in your Head, as the wise man has.
1781 J. Moore I. 66
‘Have you eyes in your head, Sir!’ continued the connoisseur: ‘Don't you know St. John when you see him?’
1837 May 483
The governor had two eyes in his head, and so he finds out the latitude of the thing.
1888 19 Apr. 243/3
Nobody with eyes in his head could have passed the week just ended in Berlin without recognizing that if a firebrand comes to the throne the materials are close crowded upon him for a terrible conflagration.
1917 18 Nov. (Fiction section) 1/3
‘Don't tell me you've tried,’ said Mrs. Devens angrily. ‘I've got two eyes in my head. It's my belief you are committed to that Vail girl in some way!’
1960 G. W. Target
Only I've heard one or two things listening to the sweethearts, and I've got eyes in my head as well as anyone else.
2008 C. Ozick 146
I was eighteen, with eyes in my head, beginning to know a thing or two.
k. to hit (also strike, smack, etc.) (a person) between (also in) the eye(s) and variants: to strike (a person) (suddenly) as very obvious, impressive, noteworthy, etc.; to leap or stand out at (a person).
1886 R. Kipling Three & Extra in 17 Nov. 3/4
It was a gorgeous dress... I can't describe it, but it was what they call ‘a Creation’, a thing that hit you straight between the eyes and made you gasp.
1899 9 Dec. 834/1
One sentence jumped out in the middle of it and hit me in the eye, so to speak.
1935 5 Apr. 20/3
The unusual feature that smacks you between the eyes as you watch the Boston Braves..is the fact that outside of four or five young'uns stumbling around on the field, there are no rookies in camp.
1952 Nov. 361/1
There were three or four things that struck me between the eyes.
It was one of the occasions when things went wrong that reality hit me in the eye.
2001 17 Jan. (City Plus section) 8/6
When I saw the technology in operation, it hit me between the eyes.
Phrases with keep
, often with have
as a variant.
(a) to keep (also have) an (or one's) eye on (also upon) : to keep watch upon, to observe carefully, esp. either to provide care and support or because of suspicion or mistrust; to be wary of; (hence also) to desire or intend to obtain; to approve of. Also with modifying word, as watchful, weather (see ). Cf. .
Euer ha hefde on hali writ ehnen oðer heorte.
a1398 J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus
(BL Add. 27944)
I. vi. xvii. 316
A seruaunt..haþ ȝe and hond apon his lord to do what likeþ and plesiþ his lorde.
l. 3934 (MED)
Segryne had euer on him his eye.
1577 H. I. tr. H. Bullinger II. iii. i. sig. Bb.iiiv/1
Let this be the rule for him to keepe his eye vpon in all businesse & affaires of his science.
1605 G. Chapman iii. i. sig. F 1
Rin. What would he be, If you should not restrayne him by good connsell? Gost. Ile haue an eye on him, I warrant thee.
1659 B. Harris tr. J. N. de Parival ii. i. xviii. 211
It was supposed the Earle of Essex had an eie upon Oxford.
1778 J. R. Forster vi. 390
I..went where he called me, but kept an eye on O-Too's sister, who immediately seized two large ten inch spikes.
1800 J. Stuart in Marquess Wellesley
An advertency to the former periods of history..ought to caution us to keep a watchful eye on this quarter.
1818 33 64
I shall keep my eye upon them.
1877 23 Aug. 20/2
The Devil already controls Chicago, and we have heard it intimated that he has his eye on New York.
1900 H. James
Chad has meanwhile continued to deny..that he has his eye on Mlle de Vionnet, that her mother has..hers on him.
1945 E. Bowen 92
I needn't exactly hurry. I just ought to keep an eye on the time.
1956 A. Wilson ii. ii. 319
You asked me to keep an eye on that Larrie Rourke.
2010 17 Aug. 33/3
My disabled mother lives with us so he keeps an eye on her, which is a definite help.
(b) to keep (also have) an (or one's) eye after : to maintain a covetous (also occasionally amorous) interest in; to keep a watchful eye on. Cf. .
I mon..eirnestly efter him haue myne E ay.
1641 R. Brathwait xxii. 117
One that had a dangerous leering eye after his Neighbours Wife.
1657 J. Dodington tr. C. Vialart 527
The King having secured the Peace in Languedoc, Monsieur le Cardinal invited him to have an eye after the establishment of it in Provence.
1781 II. 39
It was hoped, he said, that the honourable gentleman had not himself an eye after the diamond.
I soon observed, however, that he was keeping an eye after me, and he saw me go into my lodging.
1895 1 489
As she is very good-looking and clever, if not rich, she may have an eye after one of these young ministers who are coming to Linnburn on Thursday.
1917 T. C. Murray Sovereign Love in 23
I want to have an eye after the little mare.
(Republic of Kenya)
We would like the Minister for Higher Education to keep an eye after the establishment of the bureau, particularly in the tendering section.
(c) to keep (also have) one's eyes on the prize , to keep (also have) one's (also an) eye on (also †to) the prize and variants: to remain focused on the main aim of one’s activities or efforts. Similarly to turn one's eyes from the prize , etc.
[Probably originally in allusion to the prize mentioned by St Paul (e.g. Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:14), comparing the Christian life to a race (compare quot. ).]
[1618 E. Parr 142
Our eye must be on the prize to ouercome.]
1628 Z. Boyd viii. 1174
Let neither the loue of life nor the feare of death turne his eyes from the prize of the high calling of God.
1658 T. Hall 392
To incourage you, have an eye to the Prize, and the recompence of Reward.
1716 M. Hole IV. l. 426
Let us often think of the End of our Christian Course, and have an eye to the Prize of our high Calling in Christ Jesus.
1831 L. E. Landon III. xviii. 302
The race is run without an eye to a prize.
1892 6 Oct. 3
The Milwaukee delegation caucused early this evening and reached the conclusion to support St. Louis for the next convention of real estate men, at the same time keeping an eye on the prize for 1894.
1920 6 May 282/2
Obeying St. Paul, I fixed my eyes on the prize at the end of the race and was oblivious of passing events.
1967 11 Nov. 10/8
The North American toy industry also has its eyes on the prize.
10 Sept. 2
Keep your eye on the prize. Connect what you're doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow.
(d) to keep (also have) an eye (also one's eye, one's eyes) open (for) and variants: to be watchful or observant (for).
1651 ii. 40
'Tis necessary that you keep an Eye open upon the Stomaticall Magazin, and see that Memory forget not her self to charge all the Lady Sences to be vigilant in this action.
1654 J. Trapp (Hosea xiv. 8) 181
God hath a quick ear in such a case; He hath also an eye open to the supplications of his servants, in all that they call upon him for.
1697 G. Stanhope tr. P. Charron II. iii. ii. 354
That Diffidence, I mean, which consists in keeping ones Eyes open, ones Mind in suspence, suspecting and providing against every thing.
1736 S. Wesley 220
This wicked London, Where heedless Youth may Bitter meet, In rashly vent'ring after Sweet, Unless their Eyes they open keep, And look right well before they leap.
1766 Feb. 71/1
The merchant always gives the preference to the steady trader, who..keeps his eye open to throw every collateral advantage that does not affect himself, into his customers hands.
1829 Mar. 183
We shall have an eye open for merits as well as for defects.
1834 C. Darwin Let. 30 Mar. in
We shall soon Sail to the river of Santa Cruz: it must be from the account of the Indians an immense one: I will keep my eyes open for Nutias.
1889 6 May 3/1
I have heard of you an' I've got an eye open, and if you know what's good for you, you'll keep yourself out of my way.
1917 E. C. Middleton
Their business is to patrol the..home-waters, always having a wary eye open for enemy submarines.
1921 Z. Grey
I knowed we'd meet some day. I can't say I just laid for you, but I kept my eyes open.
2004 June 50/3
Along the way, I kept an eye open for some of Hong Kong's rarest wildlife.
(e) Originally U.S. to keep (also have) an eye out : to be very alert or watchful. Also with modifying word as sharp, weather, etc. Frequently with for (occasionally with †on).
1833 17 Oct. 1/4
We've got a rale sharp little fellow to keep an eye out on Squire Biddle, and got him in the Bank too.
1875 11 Nov.
Keep your eye out for that air sign across South Commercial Street as that directs you to..the new Boston One Price Clothing House.
1889 ‘M. Twain’ 33
I moved away,..keeping an eye out for any chance passenger in his right mind.
1925 Jan. 409/2
I keep my weather eye out for persons who may have visited or lived in Porto Rico [sic].
1942 July 57
She's got a sharp eye out, Mrs Pike has.
1974 Jan. 63/1
When we wade after oysters we keep an eye out for cottonmouths, and when walking in the groves we stay on clear, open ground.
2005 Z. Smith 52
OK—we got to keep an eye out for Jerome, though—he's about.
(f) to keep one's eye(s) peeled (also skinned): see , .
(a) to look (a person) in the eye(s) : to look directly or unashamedly at; = . Also with adverb (as full, straight, etc.), and occasionally †to look (someone) at the eyes .
?1537 Hugh of Caumpedene tr. sig. I.iijv
Nomore than now is velanye For to loke a man in the eye.
1655 F. G. tr. ‘G. de Scudéry’ IV. viii. ii. 144
Whilst Cleonisbe was talking, the Prince of Phoceus looked her full in the eyes.
1760 Jan. 34/2
If he listen while I tell a tale, Or look me but full in the eye, I faulter, I blush, and turn pale.
1837 23 Dec. 203/2
‘Look me directly in the eye!’ cried Dorn, seizing the hand of the unpractised dissembler.
1880 G. Meredith II. v. 88
She..looks you straight at the eyes, perfectly unabashed.
1896 A. E. Housman xlii. 60
With..friendly brows and laughter He looked me in the eyes.
1931 E. A. Guest 23
I want to be able as days go by Always to look myself straight in the eye.
1933 H. L. Ickes
I looked those mayors in the eye and I told them what the exact truth was.
1965 1 July 4/1
To be modern enough to look the great industrial powers in the eye on a basis of full equality.
2005 H. Harari xii. 71
When I ordered a salad, the kind waitress looked me straight in the eye and asked: ‘French, Roquefort, Thousand Islands?’
(b) to look upon (also at, on) with another (also a different) eye and variants: to take a different view of.
1603 P. Holland tr. J. Amyot in tr. Plutarch 315
Plutarch sheweth sufficiently by the thirtieth rule,..that in manner all doe regard and looke upon things with another eie, than they ought [Fr. que presque tous regardent les choses d'autre œil qu'il ne faut].
1640 A. Stafford 69
These two behold their Subjects with a different eye.
1683 No. 1835/3
If the City should Look upon it with another Eye.
1728 J. A. Du Cerceau tr. J. T. Krusinski I. 81
None but Eunuchs came near his Person,..and he looked upon their Attendance on his Person with another Eye to what he did before.
1821 H. M. Jones xviii. 369
I trust you will alter your mind, and look with a different eye upon my assiduities.
1858 June 529/1
As the country, since the opening of railways, has been threaded by Southern visitors, the dwellings have been looked at with another eye, and it has been felt they are an eyesore to the land.
1948 E. O. Lorimer tr. A. Beljame i. 71
The moment that the author became eligible for high employment and fat salaries, he was looked on with another eye and granted what he had never enjoyed before: respect and esteem.
You will look at these with a different eye when they have to be paid for out of your profits.
(Republic of Kenya)
3 Dec. 49
There could be a few points that the Minister may need to look at with another eye.
n. to lose an eye : to lose the sight in one eye; to become blind in one eye. Also similarly † to lose one's eyes
[compare Middle French, French perdre les yeux (1517 or earlier)]
?1532 lxxxviii. sig. H.ivv
One that had sore eies, was warned of the phisitian, that he shulde in any wyse forbeare drinking or els lose his eies.
1598 W. Lisle tr. S. G. de Senlis in tr. G. de S. Du Bartas 64
Hanibal, whom the Poet noteth by the name of Borgne..because he lost an eye by ouer-watching himselfe in the passage of certaine great marrish-grounds into Hetruria.
1649 Bp. J. Taylor iii. 24
We cannot behold the least atome in the Sun without danger of loosing an eye.
1687 A. Lovell tr. J. de Thévenot i. 260
The Dust..is blown into the Eyes by the Wind, which is the reason that there are many blind in that Country. Whilst I was in Ægypt, a French Merchant lost an Eye so.
1778 T. Warton II. xv. 347
He afterwards insinuates, that the Cardinal had lost an eye by the French disease.
1846 W. Greener
We..have a friend who lost an eye and blew down a house side.
1909 M. E. Lowndes v. 97
She nursed Mmme de Soissons through an attack of smallpox, catching the malady and nearly losing an eye.
2004 E. Reid i. 32
He'd lost an eye in a grease fire and wore a black felt eye patch to cover the curdled orb.
o. to make eyes at : to cast amorous or (occasionally) covetous glances at. Cf. .
1806 R. Cumberland iv. iii. 79
I have seen him, And, till he married, saw him every where, Prowling from place to place, and making eyes At each stray miss—myself amongst the many.
1852 W. M. Thackeray III. i. 12
She used to make eyes at the Duke of Marlborough.
1905 Apr. 78/1
E. H. Harriman has made eyes at it.., but so far its owners have refused to sell out.
1937 W. M. Raine xiv. 159
You would think a girl couldn't be a double-crosser if she was pretty enough and made eyes at you.
1962 C. Ekwensi ii. 8
She was on her way to market, she said, making eyes at him.
1999 D. Mitchell 56
‘Don't give me that! I saw you two making eyes at each other.’
p. mind your eye: used in the imperative, as warning of danger to a person's eyes; (now usually) figurative (colloquial and regional) ‘be careful’, ‘watch out’. N.E.D. (1894) interpreted the line from the ballad cited in quot. as showing a variant phrase beware your eye, following the reading given in F. J. Child Eng. & Sc. Pop. Ballads (1888) III. v. cxlv. 201/2, ‘The ladies gave a shout, “Woodcock, beware thyn ee!”’, but no other evidence for this form of the phrase has been found, and all other 17th-cent. versions of the ballad give the phrase in the form ‘beware thy knee’.
The Ladies gaue a shout, Woodcock beware thy nee.]
1766 R. Rogers i. ii. 11
Conceal yourself, and mind your Eye.
1790 D. Morison 187
Aurther mind your eye, When..ance ye're fairly ty'd and she your wife, Ye'll ken the crosses o' a married life.
1841 C. Dickens xxx. 108
He would recommend him..to mind his eye for the future.
1891 H. Herman 37
‘Mind your eye, sir,’ at last cried the young man, ‘and don't budge. We've got to get that partition beam away. It's that that's crushing you.’
1950 R. Davies i. 23
I..levelled ye with me fist, that's what happened to ye. And I'll do it again if ye don't mind yer eye.
28 Oct. 33
If doing the opposite of what you say you will do is the principle to be established, mind your eye.
(i) to put out a person's eyes : to deprive a person of the power of sight, esp. violently. Also figurative and hyperbolical.
Me ssolde pulte out boþe is eye, & makye him pur blind.
1573 J. Bridges tr. Erasmus in 610
A madde and fierce kinde of men, whiche murthered with swordes, maymed with Sythes, and with Lyme mingled with Vinegar put oute the eyes of the true beleeuers.
a1609 T. Playfere
This plaister seemes more likely to put out his eyes which sees, then to cure his eyes who is blind.
1699 R. L'Estrange lxxxvi. 86
One part of the World have their Eyes put out with the Flashes of his Dazling Beams.
1706 IV. viii. 438
Andronicus's Eyes being to be put out with scalding-hot Vinegar.
1820 F. MacDonogh V. xcii. 35
Another street nuisance is your poke-bonnet ladies, who sometimes put out your eyes with these pent-house projections.
1929 Dec. 22
This blinding white vapor remains unconquered. It continues to put out the eyes of traffic on land, sea, and air.
1993 P. Ackroyd
It is very bright there, sir, the brightness puts out my eyes.
†(ii) to put out a person's eyes with (a gift, bribe, etc.) : figurative to bribe a person; to get a person to pretend not to see something by bribery. Occasionally without with. Obsolete.
1580 H. F. tr. S. Pelegromius 35/2
To Bribe, vide to put out ones eies with giftes.
1593 T. Nashe f. 81v
There is a sloth also in punishing sinne, as when Magistrates will haue theyr eyes put out with gyfts, and will not see it.
a1625 J. Fletcher Mad Lover v, in F. Beaumont & J. Fletcher
Put out mine eye with twelve pence? do you shaker?
1631 J. Shirley i. 10
Your Iustice of Peace..will suffer any man to put out his eye with a bribe.
1677 Z. Babington 12
To prevent or prevaricate a right Judgment, in the Judge; or by any dust of gold, power or favour, to put out his eyes, or falsifie his clear sight.
1744 J. Ralph i. 11
See a great Man's Eyes put out with a Bribe.
(b) to put one's finger in one's eye and variants: to make oneself (appear to) weep by poking one's eye; to weep, cry, esp. foolishly or ostentatiously (now chiefly in the nursery rhyme cited in quot. ). Cf. .
1447 in S. A. Moore
Germyn putte his fynger yn his ye and wepte.
1576 G. Pettie 76
Of which newes so soone as his wife was partaker, for fashion sake shee put finger in the eye, and attired herselfe in mourning apparell.
a1616 W. Shakespeare
ii. ii. 207
No longer will I be a foole, To put the finger in the eie and weepe.
Would one have thought ye foolish Ape would putt the finger in ye Eye, & tell it Daddy!
1738 iii. 49
Have we not enough in every Street, but we must put a Finger in Eye, and cry for Foreign Ware?
1842 J. O. Halliwell 103
Cry, baby, cry, Put your finger in your eye, And tell your mother it was I.
1959 I. Opie & P. Opie 188
He wonders if he will ever escape from the shame of the hateful verses: Cry, baby, cry, Put your finger in your eye, And tell your mother It wasn't I.
2007 C. Rush i. 19
Cry baby cry, put your finger in your eye, tell your mother it wasn't I. I arrived on the wave-swept rocky shore, the sunken sea-dreams of my folk locked hard in my head.
r. to see eye to eye : (of two people, etc.) to be of one mind, think alike, agree (usually in negative contexts). Frequently with with.
[Probably originally with allusion to Isaiah 52:8: ‘For they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion’ (King James Bible); however, in this passage, eye to eye (after Hebrew ʿayin bĕ-ʿayin) means ‘with their own eyes’.]
[1612 R. Greenham 722
Esay [= Isaiah] more plainly, Chap. 52 8. reporteth that we shall see eye to eye.]
1747 G. Whitefield Let. 5 July in
May Jesus heal them, and hasten that blessed time, when we shall all see eye to eye, and there shall be no disputings about houses, doctrine, or discipline in all God's holy mountain!
1794 T. Packer 32
If Mr. Huntington's followers see eye to eye with him in other points of doctrine, they certainly will in this.
a1835 W. Nevins
A principal reason why we are not more of one mind, is that we are not more of one heart. How soon they who feel heart to heart, begin to see eye to eye!
1879 xxvi. 4
Unable to see eye to eye with the subscribers.
1935 C. Isherwood v. 84
I'm afraid Schmidt and I don't quite see eye to eye on the subject just at present.
1955 10 May 9/4
The two Governments do not see eye to eye.
2010 P. Murray 180
For a while now your father and I haven't been seeing eye to eye. It's not, it's not anybody's fault, it's just the way relationships sometimes go.
†s. †to throw out one's eyes : to cast one's gaze, look for (also upon, etc.). Obsolete.
a1616 W. Shakespeare
ii. i. 39
As well to see the vessell that's come in, As to throw out our eyes for braue Othello.
1639 H. Glapthorne i. ii. 9
Throw her eyes out on my shape, Call me Pigsny, pretty Ape.
1656 Simpleton the Smith 6 in R. Cox
If you please to throw your eyes out of the window upon me, you shall behold one of the faithfullest lovers that ever took hammer in hand.
1762 XXXVI. 124
The confederates were obliged to throw their eyes for assistance towards a power, whom they had some time before considered as their capital enemy.
1798 H. J. Pye iii. 61
Europe's astonish'd sons..threw their trembling eyes for aid To shores their coward envy once betray'd.
t. to turn a (also †the) blind eye : to refuse to take any notice of a situation, state of affairs, etc.; (more recently also) to pretend not to notice. Frequently with to, on. In early use often in conjunction with to turn a deaf ear: see .
1698 J. Norris IV. 223
To turn the deaf Ear, and the blind Eye to all those Pomps and Vanities of the World which we renounc'd at our Baptism.
1710 T. Baylye 11
Men turn the deaf Ear, the blind Eye, and obdurate Heart.
1797 S. J. Pratt I. xxiii. 172
Few are those who have not been under a necessity of turning the apparently deaf ear, and the blind eye, on our own conduct, or on that of our neighbours.
1823 M. Wilmot 1 Oct.
I turn a blind eye and a deaf ear every now and then, and we get on marvellously well.
1891 Apr. 792
It is not a brave thing—quite the contrary—in any man to turn a blind eye to the instinctive perceptions of his own intelligence.
1925 N. E. Odell in E. F. Norton et al. 290
The Tibetans appear to turn a blind eye to the wholesale slaughter involved in the collection..of over 10,000 specimens by our ardent Natural Historian.
1927 G. K. Chesterton 108
Nelson turned his blindest eye On Naples and on liberty.
1963 7 Mar. 16/6
The police turn a blind eye to this problem because they are only too glad to get lorries from parking on the main roads.
2001 I. Sinclair
i. vi. 79
Marks would evidently turn a blind eye to the sack of swag. Or anything else where he could work an angle.
u. to close one's eyes to: see . damn (one's) eyes: see . to lay eyes on: see . to see with (also at) eye: see . to see with one's own eyes: see . to set eyes upon (also on): see . to shut one's eyes to: see . to throw one's eye (also eyes): see .
Phrases with nouns.
(a) Astronomy. eye and ear: sequential telescopic measurements combined with the measurement of time by listening to a clock or chronograph; frequently attributive; cf. . Now historical.
1851 5 1006
Numerical evidence is adduced to show that the irregularity of transits thus observed is far less than that of transits observed by eye and ear.
1875 Feb. 387
This is the method of ‘eye-and-ear’ observation, the basis of such work as we have described, and it is so called from the part which both the eye and the ear play in the appreciation of intervals of time.
1913 3 Jan. 36/1
Eye and ear observations.
2001 34 176
The new electro-chronograph (also known as the American method) was slowly replacing the old eye-and-ear method for measuring stellar transits involved in longitude and time determinations.
(b) (to be) the eyes and ears of and variants: (to be) the person (or group of people) who observes or gathers information on behalf of another person, organization, etc., esp. in a clandestine or covert manner. Also occasionally in extended use. Cf. sense .
1563 L. Humphrey i. sig. a.iiv
They, be both the eyes, and eares of prynces.
1586 T. Bowes in tr. P. de la Primaudaye I. 676
Counsellors are the eies & eares of a Prince.
1628 tr. P. Matthieu 116
Tiberius..could not heare nor see any thing but through Seianus, who alone was his eyes and his eares.
1685 J. Norris in F. Digby & J. Norris tr. Xenophon viii. 144
Cyrus made sure to himself those who are call'd the Eyes and the Ears of the King no other way then by obliging them with Gifts and Honours.
1788 E. Gibbon VIII. xlvi. 161
The faithful agents, the eyes and ears of the king, informed him of the progress of disorder.
1834 26 Sept. 1/5
The Privy Councillors and Ministers of the day, the men who are the eyes and ears of Government, were generally those who had been rebels or United Irishmen.
1863 19 Mar. 1/2
The cavalry constitute the eyes and ears of the army.
1941 6 Sept. 8/2
The patrols have a triple job on their hands—to act as eyes and ears for the British navy, to protect the supplies which our factories are turning out..[etc.]
1996 J. T. Hospital
‘What's wrong with Quilpie?’ ‘Spies,’ he says. ‘Sniffers. Bernie's eyes and ears, Bernie's little hirelings.’
2013 S. Merill 17
I ask them to be my eyes and ears, to share with me any information about my child that they think I need to know.
†b. †at (the) eye's end : close at hand. Obsolete.
1628 O. Felltham x. sig. 15v
Wee iudge them nere, at the eyes end.
1704 III. 294/2
Keep him thus at Eyes-End, and Lips-end, but for a Week or a Fortnight.
(a) (to have but) half an eye : (to have) even the smallest power of vision or appreciation of something, esp. the obvious. In modern use frequently with half an eye.
1533 W. Tyndale f. 28
For as for their false iugelinge we fele it at our fyngers ende: we se it, had we but halfe an eye.
1579 W. Fulke Heskins Parl. Repealed in 348
Euery man that hath but halfe an eye, seeth these grosse inconsequences.
?c1622 E. Bolton
Iniquities..are sometime laid on so impudently thick, that with less than half an Eye the Paintings are discernable.
1652 N. Culpeper 12
He that hath but half an Eye may see their pride without a pair of Spectacles.
1731 J. Rigby 19
Is it not apparent to any one that hath but half an Eye that in the 13th Verse he speaks only to them that were with him?
1839 25 Apr. 268/1
In case of war, it requires but half an eye, to see that the Gulf of Mexico would be the theatre of conflict.
1890 M. Taylor
With half an eye she might have seen that his motive for calling was an utter triviality.
1916 Nov. 807/1
It took but half an invitation to induce him to head with us for Santa Cruz, and but half an eye to see that the lithe young Portuguese was an able walker.
1975 T. Brooke-Taylor et al. 51
Mr. Oddie, I strongly object to being referred to as ‘Stingy’. A swift butcher's at Exhibit ‘H’ will make it clear to anyone with half an eye that we are very lavish with our gifts.
1999 Nov. 18/1
Those with half an eye for detail will recognise the little hand-gun from the dismantled parts pictured here.
(b) with half an eye: at a glance, without effort. Frequently in to see with half an eye .
1536 J. Gwynneth sig. d.ii
Thou mayst now, with halfe an eye perceyue..it can not folow, that an heretyke hath in dede, any part of the fayth.
1598 W. Phillip tr. J. H. van Linschoten i. xxxiii. 66/1
These Xaraffos..can discerne it [sc. counterfeit money] with halfe an eye.
1651 C. Barksdale tr. H. Grotius xi. 253
Any one may see with half an eye, how impertinent it is.
1751 T. Smollett III. lxxxvii. 58
He had not been here three minutes, when I could perceive with half an eye, that he had marked out your grace for a conquest.
1842 Mar. 321
‘I could see it with half an eye.’ ‘Ah! yer dogged 'cute,’ rejoined the conceited rustic, with a grin.
1883 R. L. Stevenson iv. xviii. 143
I saw with half an eye that all was over.
1918 Sept. 95/1
One could see with half an eye that there was no harm in him.
1941 Nov. 24/3
For all her joy at being reunited with her offspring Colin could see with half an eye that she didn't relax completely.
17 Nov. 10
Anyone inspecting the trapdoors..could see with half an eye that damp could not have been the reason for the failure of the doors.
(c) half an eye: minimal or divided attention; (also) low-level but ongoing observation or awareness. Frequently in to keep half an eye on .
1612 W. Shute tr. G. Du Vair 239
Beeing halfe dead, they shall open their eye liddes, to beehold with halfe an eye their treasures, but at the last..they must forsake all this trashe, a stronger power hales them away.
1735 Aug. 450/1
Observe Clarinda with a beau, While you yourself are sitting by, She'll scarce vouchsafe you half an eye.
It would not be difficult to seat ones-self in the very same window-seat..whence the..Earl of Caithness was wont with ‘half an eye’ to watch the Union flying at the flag-staff in the Fort.
1883 R. L. Stevenson v. 40
Two of the fellows began to look here and there among the lumber, but half-heartedly, I thought, and with half an eye to their own danger all the time.
1916 J. Buchan vi. 105
He was growing as mad as a hatter. I kept half an eye on the clock. I was hopeful now,..looking for the right kind of chance.
1991 14 Sept. 42/1
Why bother with the Liberal Democrats?.. Worth keeping half an eye on, in case a fluke general-election result hands them brief influence in a hung parliament.
[It] is so determined to remain mainstream..that it ends up as televisual wallpaper, something to watch with half an eye as you eat dinner.
†d. Anatomy. eye of the knee: the patella (kneecap); cf. . Obsolete. rare.
[After post-classical Latin oculus genu (1312 or earlier), itself after Arabic ʿayn al-rukba (10th cent. or earlier).]
a1400 tr. Lanfranc
To kepe þis ioynture from harm, is ioyned þeron a round boon &..of summen it is clepid þe yȝe of þe knee.
1572 J. Higgins
Whirlebone of ones knee, the patill or shildelyke bone, the rowle and the eye of the knee.
e. eye in the sky: a (usually unmanned) camera, drone, or other device designed to provide surveillance; (sometimes also) a person providing surveillance from an elevated location.
1896 3 Sept. 16/2
The kite will not be confined to meteorological uses, nor the kite-camera to military reconnaissances... What secrets may be revealed by this eye in the sky, we leave for the imagination of the reader.
1907 27 July 1077/2
An army with even only one ‘eye in the sky’ is to be feared by that which has no such resource.
1936 22 June 22/1
If your horse wins by as slender a margin as a quarter of an inch the ‘eye in the sky’ will see to it that you get your money.
1949 6 Mar. 10/3
Time diagram showing ‘eye in the sky’ satellite to guide pilotless missiles.
1978 J. R. Feegel iii. 46
And now, here's our eye in the sky, Sergeant Joe Flag.
1993 A. Toffler & H. Toffler v. xix. 186
Almost any government..may soon be able to buy eyes in the skies to provide sophisticated images of U.S. tanks or troops or missile emplacements to within about fifteen feet of accuracy.
1994 Oct. 33
Within each resort, a private army of security guards, backed up by ‘eye in the sky’ overhead video cameras, makes the security even tighter.
1 Aug. 1
The drones..are still in the test phase, but ‘just the rumor of an eye in the sky and the noise of it flying overhead will serve to deter potential incidents’.
f. (to have) eyes on stalks and variants:
(a) Zoology (to have) eyes at the distal end of stalk-like structures, as in some invertebrates, esp. crustaceans;
(b) (to have) eyes (apparently) bulging or widened in amazement, fear, inquisitiveness, etc.
1857 1 188/1
I have..Madrepores, that build up ocean reefs..and that carry their eyes on stalks.
1916 J. E. Peabody & A. H. Hunt ii. v. 156
Of what advantage may it be to the crayfish to have its eyes on stalks instead of on the surface of the head?
1935 W. Fortescue 178
I found myself hugging the edge of a positive precipice... With eyes on stalks I drove on.
1958 M. Stewart ix. 130
What they call a small private party'd make your eyes stand out on stalks, as the saying is.
1985 May 77/3
The megalops has eyes on stalks (as the adult crab does), three pairs of walking legs and crude claws.
2005 D. Nicholls 154
Mouth open, eyes out on stalks. I mean, anyone else would have just walked out and shut the door.
g. the eye of the storm (also hurricane) : the calm region at the centre of a storm or hurricane (frequently figurative); (also) the violent centre of a storm or other disturbance.
1884 Jan. 63
The..dreadful calm within the whirl, to which sailors have given the name of ‘the eye of the storm’.
1934 A. H. R. Goldie
There is a patch of blue sky over the calm centre, which is well known in the hurricane countries as the ‘eye of the storm’, or as a ‘bull's-eye’.
1970 P. White 1 Feb.
Have you had any experience of hurricanes..? I am particularly interested in..the eye of the hurricane: whether a ship can sail along within the eye and miss most of the storm.
1978 A. Maupin 7
She found her in the eye of the storm, bumping with a black man in Lurex knickers and glitter wedgies.
1993 Jan. 56
In the eye of the storm, a surfer threads the treacherous Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore.
2000 18 Feb. 9/1
Its Gresham Street office is the eye of the hurricane of controversy and backbiting.
(a) Nautical. the wind's eye : the direction from which the wind is blowing. Frequently in in the wind's eye. Also the eye of the wind .
1550 J. Heywood lxxv. sig. Ciiiv
The wethercocks beke is still in the wyndes eie.
1577 in J. Dee Advt. to Rdr. sig. Δ.iiij
He findeth himself..partly forced, somwhat to yelde to the wickednes of these tymes, (being not possible to sayl against the windes eye).
1627 J. Smith ix. 39
Boording or beating it vp vpon a tacke in the winds eye, or bolting to and againe.
a1665 K. Digby
The 4 galliottes..rowed into the windes eye.
1726 P. Dudley in
Let the Wind blow which Way it will, that Way they [sc. dead whales] will scull a Head, tho' right in the Eye of the Wind.
1762 T. Smollett II. xiii. 6
As for sailing in the wind's eye, brother, you must give me leave.
1823 Ld. Byron iv. 55
In the Wind's Eye I have sailed.
1888 J. R. Lowell 177
He's a Rip van Winkle skipper,..who sails his bedevilled old clipper In the wind's eye, straight as a bee.
1913 A. Conan Doyle Horror of Heights in Nov. 586/1
Yet I had always to turn again and tack up in the wind's eye, for it was not merely a height-record that I was after.
1937 W. Lewis ii. i. 75
Her head of a small wistful seabird, delicately drafted to sail in the eye of the wind.
1969 P. O'Brian
‘Anything to windward?’ called Jack... ‘Yes, sir. A sail. A lateen. Hull down in the wind's eye.’
22 Apr. 20
On a hillock at Rammedalen a windmill, similar to our Brooklyn wind-turbine, turned in to the wind's eye.
†(b) to be a sheet (also a bit) in the wind's eye and variants: (to be) slightly intoxicated. Obsolete.
1823 W. Scott I. vii. 119
John Blower, when he was a wee bit in the wind's eye, as he ca'd it, puir fallow—used to sing a sang about a dog they ca'd Bingo, that suld hae belanged to a farmer.
1883 R. L. Stevenson iv. xx. 161
Maybe you think we were all a sheet in the wind's eye. But I'll tell you I was sober.
i. eye of a (also the) bean : a small dark hollow in an incisor (esp. the third incisor) tooth of a young horse; = . Obsolete. rare.
1705 tr. G. Guillet de Saint-Georges i. at Mark
A Horse Marks, that is, he shews his Age by a Black Spot call'd the Bud or Eye of a Bean [Fr. germe de féve], which appears about five and a half in the Cavity of the Corner-teeth, and is gone when the Horse is eight years old; then he ceases to mark, and we say, he has raz'd.
1736 N. Bailey et al.
Eye of a Bean, a black speck..in the cavity of the corner-teeth of a horse.
1798 T. Connelly & T. Higgins I. 7/3
A horse that marks still shewing the eye of the bean in his corner tooth.
eye of the world n.
[after post-classical Latin oculus mundi ]
now historical and rare a variety of opal; =
1730 N. Bailey et al.
Oculus Mundi [i. e. the Eye of the World] a precious Stone which being put into cold Water, changes its White Colour to Yellow, and becomes almost transparent, but when taken out again returns to its former state.
1772 M. T. Brunnich in G. von Engeström & E. M. da Costa tr. A. F. Cronstedt
I have seen the Eye of the World..in Sir Hans Sloane's Collection.
1849 J. R. Jackson xi. 120
The names of Oculus Mundi (eye of the world), and Lapis Mutabilis (changing stone), have been sometimes given to this mineral.
1997 N. Thomas iv. 115
The plates include..the oculus mundi, or eye of the world, a Chinese pebble that becomes transparent in water.
Proverbial phrases, allusions, and idioms, and other miscellaneous phrases.
In biblical allusions.
(a) an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth) : the principle of retribution in which the penalty is equivalent to the original crime or injury (Exodus 21:24). In early use †eye for (also with) eye . Cf. , See also Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21, and Matthew 5:38.
[Ultimately after Hebrew ʿayin taḥaṯ ʿayin eye for eye (Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, etc.); in ultimately after Hebrew ʿayin taḥaṯ ʿayin, šēn taḥaṯ šēn eye for eye, tooth for tooth (Exodus 21:24, etc.).]
Sylle lyf wið life: Eage wið eagan [L. oculum pro oculo], toþ wiþ teð, hand wiþ handa, fot wiþ fet.
Gehyrdon ge þæt gecweden wæs, Eage for eage and toð for teð.
Ei for ei, and toth for toht.
1535 Matthew v. f. iiiv
Ye haue herde howe it is sayde: An eye for an eye, a toth for a toth.
1561 T. Norton tr. J. Calvin iv. f. 167v
Being so minded they wil not seke eie for eie, tooth for tooth, as the Pharises taught their disciples to desire reuenge.
1671 L. Addison xi. 174
In bodily injuries they observe the law of Retaliation, as an Eye for an Eye, a tooth for a tooth.
1732 J. Besse xii. 204
The Law allowed a Man..in case of Injury to retaliate, Eye for Eye, and Tooth for Tooth.
1825 Mar. 315
The doctrine of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ inflicts, indeed, a new pain on the guilty person, but benefits neither the party injured nor the community.
1876 Apr. 746
May we not hope that an ‘eye for an eye’ is, in the order of healthy evolution, to disappear entirely from our penal correctives?
1910 J. Galsworthy
The old theory, ‘an eye for an eye’ condemned to death over nineteen hundred years ago, but still dying very hard in this Christian country.
1942 E. Paul iii. 27
Thérèse's code was ‘an eye for an eye’, and the result of her interference was salutary in the extreme.
2004 S. Mehta 45
There's no justification for the blasts... An eye for an eye is a terrible thing.
(b) a mote (also beam) in one's eye: see , . the eye of a needle: see sense .
b. what the eye does not see the heart does not grieve (over) and variants: if one is unaware of an unpleasant fact or situation, one cannot be troubled by it; also in shortened form what the eye does not see .
[Compare post-classical Latin vulgo dicitur: Quod non videt oculus cor non dolet (12th cent.); Middle French car on dit que ce que on ne voit au cueur ne deult (early 14th cent.).]
a1300 in B. J. Whiting
That einen ne sen, herte ne reut [L. tristatur].
4 187 (MED)
Þat eie ne seth, herte ne mournit.
34 261 (MED)
That the ey seith, the hert doith rewe.
1545 R. Taverner tr. Erasmus
That the eye seeth not, ye hart rueth not.
1592 R. Greene sig. D2
What the eie sees not Phulomela neuer hurteth the heart.
1631 T. Matthew tr. A. Rodríguez 204
And from hence the Prouerbe came that which the eyes see not, the hart rues not.
1667 T. Vincent xiii. 250
That which the eye seeth not, the heart wil not, cannot be affected withal.
1763 J. G. Delpino at Ver
What the eyes do not see, the heart does not feel.
1834 Dec. 609/2
If he err for a moment, he will be too discreet to let his wife know it; and ‘what the eyes don't see, the heart cannot grieve at’.
1891 21 Nov. 5/7
There is a good deal of truth in the saying that what the eye does not see the heart does not feel, or we should suffer many qualms as we sat down to our joint of mutton or beef.
1923 N. Anderson iii. 35
I don't allow myself to see things, and as long as the eyes don't see the heart grieves not.
23 Nov. g1
I kept my career going in the Army while I began to free-lance in London. It was illegal, strictly speaking, but it went unnoticed, and what the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over.
1 Oct. 26
Cover with mulch and you can't see that the pieces of wood don't match. What the eye doesn't see...
†c. one might put (something) in one's eye (and see never the worse) and variants: indicating the insignificance or non-existence of an action or thing. Obsolete.
1529 T. More i. xxiii. f. xxxiv/1
Ye thynk the iugler blow hys gallys through the goblettys bottom..and put a knyfe into his eye and se neuer the worse.
c1530 J. Lydgate tr.
Of her owne gentylnesse And that is as moche as a man may put in his eye.
a1572 J. Knox Hist. Reformation Scotl. in
I shall lodge all the men-of-ware into my Eae, that shall land in Scotland.
1631 J. Mabbe tr. F. de Rojas vii. 82
If you rely onely vpon the ordinary wages of these Gallants, it is such, that what you get by it after tenne yeeres seruice, you may put it in your eye and neuer see the worse.
1699 B. E. at Eye-sore
All that you get you may put in your Eye and see ne'er the worse.
1738 J. Swift i. 48
All he gets by her, he may put into his Eye, and see never the worse.
1759 No. 186. 1122
We might have put all our acquisitions in our eye, and not see much worse.
1832 E. Duros III. vii. 118
All I'll get in return for't, I may put in the corner o' my eye, and see ne'er the worse.
1862 15 Nov. 41/2
The rest you might put in your eye And never see the worse.
d. the eyes are the windows of the soul and variants: the eyes express the innermost feelings, thoughts, state of mind, etc., of a person.
[Compare classical Latin ut imago est animi vultus, sic indices oculi ‘the face is a picture of the mind, as the eyes are its interpreter’ (Cicero Orator 60), Middle French par les fenestres de mes yeulx ‘by the windows of my eyes’ (1433).]
?1543 T. Phaer tr. J. Goeurot ii. f. x
The eyes..are the wyndowes of the mynde [Fr. les yeulx lesquelz sont messagers de lame], for bothe ioye and anger..are seene..through them.
1656 J. Collop 46
What light without, that knowledge is within, Through th'eyes the windows of our Souls let in.
1706 II. 61
The Eyes are the Windows of the Soul.
1742 ‘Fantosme’ I. 112
The Eyes being the Mirrors of the Soul, those Irregularities are as a Mark set on her by Nature, to warn those who address her not to rely much upon her Kindness.
1772 I. viii. 81
‘I have always been taught’ (said the charming man) ‘that the eyes are the windows of the heart.’
1850 29 June
There is nothing striking in his appearance; but the eye, that index of the mind, would give assurance to the observer that the head was ‘screwed on the right way’.
1883 20 July 1/4
The eye is the window to the soul; use your eyes and hold your tongue.
1936 22 May 6/6
It is a common saying that the eye is the ‘mirror of the mind’.
1983 4 Feb. 85/1
We have all heard the old bromide, ‘The eyes are the portals of the soul’.
2008 C. Hartsock iii. 58
The idea that the eyes are the window to the soul is not a modern one.
e. where are your eyes? and variants: indicating that a person has not seen or noticed something obvious. Also in extended use.
?1548 in J. Calvin
Oh blynde bussardes. Where are youre spirituall eyes become?
1567 T. Harding ix. f. 141
Where be your eyes? Nay where is your fidelitie?
a1576 E. Dering in W. Hopkinson
Oh Lorde: where are their eyes that say not this, or their hearts that see and regard it not.
1607 T. Middleton sig. I
Where were your eyes? could you not see I was an Officer.
1743 J. Bulkeley & J. Cummins 10
The Captain..seeing the Light, ask'd the Master, Where his Eyes were?
1814 F. Burney II. 159
Mercy me, why, where were my eyes?
1832 E. Bulwer-Lytton I. i. ii. 38
Why don't you rise, Mr. Lazyboots? Where are your eyes? Don't you see the young ladies.
1902 6 Dec. 1/3
Where were the eyes of the stewards and ‘stipe’ in the first race?
1922 Oct. 30/2
Where are your eyes, Boy? You can answer your own question by looking in the book advertisements in any one of a dozen magazines.
1989 B. Small viii. 242
‘The lady, Mother?’ ‘The lady, my son. Where are your eyes?’.. ‘By Allah! It is a woman!’
†f. for (also by reason of) the fair eyes of
[after Middle French, French pour les beaux yeux de (1561 in the passage translated in quot. , or earlier)]
: (in negative contexts) for the sake of, because of. Obsolete.
1579 L. Tomson tr. J. Calvin 222/1
They rule not by reason of their faire eyes [Fr. pour leurs beaux yeux].
1583 A. Golding tr. J. Calvin clxxxiv. 1145
It is not for their faire Eyes (as they say).
g. colloquial or slang. In various expressions relating to drinking or drunkenness, as to drink one's eyes out (of one's head) (cf. ). See also , .
1584 T. Lupton sig. A8v
For I were as good drinke mine eies out whiles I am aliue, as haue the wormes eate them out when I am dead.
a1616 W. Shakespeare
v. i. 197
O he's drunke..his eyes were set at eight i'th morning.
a1616 W. Shakespeare
iii. ii. 9
Drinke seruant Monster..thy eies are almost set in thy head.
a1627 T. Middleton & W. Rowley
Yet you may drink your eyes out sir.
1822 May 521
It is soberly better for both eyes than what is anacreontically called a ‘drop in the eye’.
1959 C. Logue 6
I drank my eyes out of my head And wet Her shilling with my fears.
1980 L. Birnbach et al. 174
Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. 788 Lake Shore Rd. Private. Drink your eyes out.
h. all eyes (are) on (also upon) —— : used to indicate that a particular person or thing is currently the focus of attention or public interest.
1598 G. Chapman in C. Marlowe & G. Chapman
v. sig. K2v
All eyes were on her.
1698 G. Granville iv. i. 49
But let some flanting Minx come prancing by, All Eyes are on her, and all Necks are bow'd.
1724 A. Pennecuik
Bess blushes, and she knows not what to say, All Eyes are on her Tenement of Clay.
1807 Let. in
We are on an eminence, in a certain sense, like a city on a hill. All eyes are on us.
1864 1 June 1/5
All eyes will be on the Chicago Convention, whether it meets in July or in September.
1939 26 26/1
The suspended moment—all eyes on the conductor—and the opening chord came, clear, resonant, in tune!
1950 C. H. Walker iv. 43
All eyes were upon the two ambassadors..as they made profound obeisances.
2005 J. Dicker vi. 117
All eyes were on Silicon Valley.
i. to have eyes bigger (also larger) than one's stomach (also belly) and variants: to have asked for or taken more food than one can actually eat; also in extended use (cf. ).
[Compare Middle French avoir les yeux plus grands que le ventre (1580).]
[1580 J. Lyly
Thou art like the Epicure whose belly is sooner filled then his eye.]
1603 J. Florio tr. M. de Montaigne i. iii. 100
I feare me our eyes be greater then our bellies, and that we have more curiositie then capacitie. We embrace all, but we fasten nothing but winde.
a1633 G. Herbert
The eye is bigger than the belly.
1699 A. Boyer at Belly
P. Your Eyes are bigger than your Belly,