A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1834

Sight. n.s. [ᵹꞅıð, Saxon; sicht, gesicht, Dutch.]

  1. Perception by the eye; the sense of seeing.

    If bees go forth right to a place, they must needs have sight. Bacon.

    O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
    Blind among enemies, O worse than chains,
    Dungeon or beggary, decrepit age!
    Milton's Agonistes.

    Things invisible to mortal sight. Milton.

    'Tis still the same, although their airy shape
    All but a quick poetick sight escape.

    My eyes are somewhat dimish grown;
    For nature, always in the right,
    To your decays adapts my sight.

  2. Open view; a situation in which nothing obstructs the eye.

                        Undaunted Hotspur
    Brings on his army, eager unto fight,
    And plac'd the same before the king in sight.

    Æneas cast his wond'ring eyes around,
    And all the Tyrrhene army had in sight,
    Stretched on the spacious plain for left to right.

    I met Brutidius in a mortal fright;
    He's dipt for certain, and plays least in sight.
    Dryd. Juven.

  3. Act of seeing or beholding.

    Nine things to sight required are;
    The pow'r to see, the light, the visible thing,
    Being not too small, too thin, too nigh, too far,
    Clear space and time, the form distinct to bring.

    Mine eyes pursu'd him still, but under shade
    Lost sight of him.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. iv.

    What form of death could him affright,
    Who unconcern'd, with stedfast sight,
    Could view the surges mounting steep,
    And monsters rolling in the deep!
    Dryden's Horace.

    Having little knowledge of the circumstances of those St. Paul writ to, it is not strange that many things lie concealed to us, which they who were concerned in the letter understood at first sight. Locke.

  4. Notice; knowledge.

    It was writ as a private letter to a person of piety, upon an assurance that it should never come into any one's sight but her own. Wake.

  5. Eye; instrument of seeing.

    From the depth of hell they lift their sight,
    And at a distance see superior light.

  6. Aperture pervious to the eye, or other point fixed to guide the eye: as, the sights of a quadrant.

    Their armed staves in charge, their beavers down,
    Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel.

  7. Spectacle; show; thing wonderful to be seen.

    Thus are my eyes still captive to one sight;
    Thus all my thoughts are slaves to one thought still.

    Them seem'd they never saw a sight so fair
    Of fowls so lovely, that they sure did deem
    Them heavenly born.

                            Not an eye
    But is a-weary of thy common sight,
    Save mine, which hath desir'd to see thee more.

    Moses said, I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. Ex. iii. 3.

    I took a felucca at Naples to carry me to Rome, that I might not run over the same sights a second time. Addison.

    Not proud Olympus yields a nobler sight,
    Though gods assembled grace his tow'ring height,
    Than what more humble mountains offer here,
    Where, in their blessings, all those gods appear.

    Before you pass th' imaginary sights
    Of lords and earls, and dukes and garter'd knights,
    While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes,
    Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Daniel, Samuel (28) · Davies, John (45) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Exodus (25) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 (46) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Locke, John (269) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Wake, William (7)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Sight." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 23, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/sight/.

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