Sight Idioms

Several English idioms use the word sight. Here are some of them with meanings and example sentences.

This worksheet is based on MacMillan English Ferry Reader 4, Chapter 1.

Catch sight of someone/something

To catch sight of someone is to see them for only a moment.

  • I caught sight of something in the water but I could not figure out what it was.

The idiom ‘catch a glimpse of something/someone’ has the same meaning.

  • I caught a glimpse of Hari amongst the crowd.

No end in sight

When there is no end in sight to something, the chances of any change seem slim.

  • My son gives me a hard time. There is no end in sight to his tantrums.

Lose sight of

When you lose sight of something, you are no longer able to see it.

  • When night fell, we lost sight of the hills.

On sight

If you are told to do something on sight, you are told to do it without delay.

  • The police will arrest him on sight. (= The police will arrest him as soon as they see him.)

At first sight

When you see someone or something for the first time

  • I couldn’t recognize him at first sight.
  • My sister and brother-in-law fell in love at first sight.
  • I didn’t like the house at first sight.

In sight

If something is in sight, it is visible.

  • The end of the road is in sight.

Set one’s sights on

To set your sights on something is to have it as an ambition.

  • She has set her sights on a career in the music industry.

Sorry sight

A sorry sight is a sight that you regret seeing.

  • You are such a sorry sight! Go and have a wash.
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