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verb see pronunciation in British English /siː/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleseeing
past tensesaw
past participleseen
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  1. 1
    [transitive] [never progressive] to notice someone or something using your eyes
    She laughed when she saw the expression on his face.
    see what/where/who: Did you see who it was?
    see (that): I could see she was upset.
    see someone/something doing something: Didn’t you see him talking to her earlier?
    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to be able to use your eyes to notice and recognize things
      If the operation is successful, he will be able to see again.
      see to do something: It was too dark to see to read.
      can’t see a thing: She can’t see a thing without her contact lenses.
    2. b.
      [transitive] to watch something such as a film or television programme
      We saw Hamlet at the National Theatre last week.
      Have you seen the film American Beauty?
    3. c.
      [transitive] to look at something in order to check it
      The border guard asked to see her passport.
  2. 2
    [transitive] to meet or visit someone who you know by arrangement
    Are you seeing Jane tomorrow?
    see you (=I’ll meet you): See you at the station at 6 o’clock.
    1. a.
      [transitive] [never progressive] to meet someone who you know by accident
      I saw David in town the other day.
    2. b.
      [transitive] to have a business or professional meeting with someone
      When can Mr Martin see me?
      see someone about something: She’s seeing the doctor about her leg tomorrow.
    3. c.
      [transitive] to spend time with a friend or member of your family
      We still see each other a couple of times a month.
      see more/less/a lot of someone: I’ve been seeing a lot of my sister recently.
    4. d.
      [transitive] to be visited by someone
      Peter still isn’t well enough to see anyone.
  3. 3
    [transitive] [always in imperative] used for saying where you can find more information
    See chapter 12.
    see above/below (=nearer the beginning/end): This contributed to the success of the Republicans (see above).
  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] [never progressive] to understand something
    I think I see the problem here.
    see why/what/who/how: I see why you’re angry.
    see (that): No one could see he was to blame.
    can’t/don’t see /why/what/that: I can’t see that it matters who does it.
    He didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
    see what someone means: ‘It’s not fair to go without him.’ ‘Yes, I see what you mean.’
  5. 5
    [transitive] to consider someone or something in a particular way
    see someone/something as something: This was seen as an attempt to fool the voters.
    He seems to see me as a threat.
    see things differently (from someone): A scientist sees things differently from an artist.
  6. 6
    [transitive] [never progressive] to imagine someone or something
    see someone as something: Can you really see her as the president?
    see someone/something doing something: I just can’t see them winning the game.
    see yourself: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
  7. 7
    [intransitive/transitive] [never progressive] to find something out
    As we saw in Chapter 2, the reasons for the war were complex.
    see (that): If you read his report, you’ll see that he recommends a cautious approach.
    see who/what/why: I’ll go and see what he wants.
    see if/whether: He went back to see whether they needed any help.
  8. 8
    [transitive] [never progressive] to experience something
    This little girl has seen so much misery in her time.
  9. 9
    [transitive] if a place or a period of time sees an event, the event happens in that place or during that time
    The region has seen some of the fiercest fighting in the war.
  10. 10
    [transitive] to go with someone because you want to make sure that they arrive somewhere
    see someone home: Can I see you home?
    see someone across the road: I’ll see him across the road.
    see someone to the door (=when they leave a building): My secretary will see you to the door.


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