9 English Idioms With Eyes

There are a few idiomatic expressions that include the word “eye.” Most of these expressions are used to describe someone who is being watchful or attentive.

List of English Idioms With Eyes

1. A Sight for Sore Eyes

Meaning of "a sight for sore eyes":

When you see someone that you have not seen in a long time and they look good, you might say “A Sight for Sore Eyes.” This phrase means that the person is a sight for sore eyes because they make everything seem better. The phrase can be used when someone is very happy to see a friend or when they are relieved to see someone.

Examples of "a sight for sore eyes":

  • It’s like a sight for sore eyes to see these kids in classrooms. (Source: KCET)
  • You’re a sight for sore eyes, yourself. We’re very happy to see you. (Source: Geek & Sundry)
  • That’s going to be a sight for sore eyes. (Source: Talks at Google)
  • They’re also brightly colored with attractive patterns, making them a sight for sore eyes. (Source: BE AMAZED)
  • If your bedroom or work desk is a sight for sore eyes then you should probably know that general messiness has also been linked to those with a higher IQ. (Source: BE AMAZED)
  • Here’s a sight for sore eyes – pigeons – lots of pigeons – but it’s a case of so near and yet so far. (Source: Fieldsports Channel)
  • The rain is a sight for sore and rather dry eyes. (Source: Behind the News)

2. All Eyes And Ears

Meaning of "all eyes and ears":

The idiom “all eyes and ears” is a metaphor that means to be completely focused and attentive. The phrase can be used when someone is telling a story, giving a presentation, or teaching a class. It’s important to be all eyes and ears because you’ll want to remember everything that is being said.

Examples of "all eyes and ears":

  • All eyes and ears around the globe were once again fixed on the Korean Peninsula. (Source: Arirang News)
  • Keep all your eyes and ears open at all times. (Source: Rewboss)

3. All Eyes Are On

Meaning of "all eyes are on":

The phrase “all eyes are on” has a few different meanings. The most popular meaning is that everyone is watching and waiting for something to happen. For example, “All eyes are on the bride as she walks down the aisle.” This usually refers to a moment of anticipation or excitement.

Another meaning of the phrase is that someone is being observed or monitored closely. For example, “The police are keeping all eyes are on the suspect.” This meaning can be used in both a positive and negative sense.

Finally, the phrase can also mean that someone is the focus of attention or scrutiny. For example, “She’s under a lot of pressure now that all eyes are on her.

Examples of "all eyes are on":

  • All eyes are on you, and with that comes the pressure. (Source: TED)
  • Now, all eyes are on the US, North Korea’s favorite villain, and China, its most important ally. (Source: Project Syndicate)
  • So all eyes are on Victoria as we wait to see what happens next. (Source: Behind the News)
  • They put the cameras on and all eyes are on you. (Source: Great Big Story)
  • All eyes are on Cuba right now, as it’s changing at an accelerated pace. (Source: American Museum of Natural History)

4. An Eye for an Eye

Meaning of "An Eye for an Eye":

An eye for an eye is a phrase that suggests that justice should be served in the same way as the original harm. The phrase comes from an Old Testament verse that reads “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” The verse means that people deserve to be punished in the same way that they have hurt others. While the phrase is often used to talk about revenge, it can also refer to justice being served objectively and fairly.

Examples of "An eye for an eye":

  • They’ve been playing a game of an eye for an eye and we all go blind. (Source: Talks at Google)
  • The principle of “an eye for an eye” ensure only the guilty party was punished for his crime. (Source: PragerU)
  • An eye for an eye just leaves the whole world blind. (Source: Saddleback Church)
  • If you do an eye for an eye, you just keep fighting and this is what we’re seeing in the Middle East, you hit me, I hit you harder. (Source: Berkley Center)
  • When her nephew found out, he took an eye for an eye to a whole nother level and killed the chief. (Source: Matthew Santoro)

5. Catch Someone’s Eye

Meaning of "Catch Someone’s Eye":

When you want to get someone’s attention, you can use the English idiom “catch someone’s eye.” This means that you make eye contact with the person and hold it until they notice you. You can also use this idiom to get someone to look at something. For example, if you want someone to read a document, you can say “catch their eye” and point to the document.

Examples of "Catch Someone’s Eye":

  • Book that caught my eye because of the cover. It’s fantastic. (Source: Book Riot)
  • What’s caught your eye? (Source: Stanford eCorner)
  • Something caught her eye, underneath the bed lay the figure of a man curled up with his back to her. (Source: Matthew Santoro)
  • But, after all, a new line of electronics had caught their eye. (Source: Nostalgia Nerd)

6. Cry your eyes out

Meaning of "Cry your eyes out":

Cry your eyes out is an English idiom that means to cry very hard. The phrase is often used to describe someone who is very sad and is crying a lot.

Examples of "Cry your eyes out":

  • It can be soul shaking and cause you to cry your eyes out. (Source: Avatar Video)
  • What was a movie that made you cry your eyes out? (Source: Vogue)
  • Cry your eyes out for your past behavior. (Source: Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig)

7. Keep an Eye On

Meaning of "Keep an Eye On":

Keep an Eye On is an English idiom that mean you should watch someone or something closely, in order to make sure that they don’t get into trouble. For example, if you have a young child and you tell them to “keep an eye on their brother,” then you’re telling them to watch him carefully and make sure he doesn’t cause any trouble.

On the other hand, “keeping an eye on” something could also refer to keeping track of it over time.

Examples of "Keep an Eye On":

  • I would encourage you, keep an eye on the clock. (Source: Sleep Sense)
  • Someone has to keep an eye on these things. (Source: MasterClass)
  • I’m sure that gave him an excuse to keep an eye on this. (Source: WKNO)
  • We’ll keep an eye on what happens to those in 2017, of course. (Source: Pioneer PBS)

8. See Eye to Eye

Meaning of "See Eye to Eye":

When two people “see eye to eye” they share the same perspective or opinion about something. This phrase is often used to describe relationships in which the two people agree on most things. For example, a married couple might say that they “see eye to eye” on parenting styles. It can also be used when two people have had a disagreement and have come to an understanding.

Examples of "See Eye to Eye":

  • Truth is that Karl and I don’t see eye to eye on some things. (Source: MasterClass)
  • This is how you see eye to eye with people and this is how you develop trust. (Source: TEDx Talks)
  • Can come together and see eye to eye on this issue? (Source: UChicago Institute of Politics)
  • I think we both see eye to eye on that. (Source: Curtin University)

9. Turn a Blind Eye

Meaning of "Turn a Blind Eye":

The English idiom “turn a blind eye” means to ignore something that is happening right in front of you. This expression is often used when someone does not want to see or acknowledge something that is bad or wrong.

For example, if you saw someone steal a purse, you might turn a blind eye and pretend you didn’t see anything. This phrase can also be used when someone is trying to get away with something. For example, if you were cheating on a test, you might try to turn a blind eye to the teacher’s watchful eyes.

Examples of "Turn a Blind Eye":

  • The people who are colluding to turn a blind eye so that they could just keep making more money. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. (Source: ClosedCaptionsZone)
  • We could talk about how we turn a blind eye when our policies perpetuate racial inequity. (Source: CUNY TV)
  • We want to turn a blind eye to all those injustices. (Source: Talks at Google)

List of English Idioms With Eyes (Infographic)

English Idioms With Eyes (Infographic)

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