Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gesiht faculty or act of sight, thing seen; akin to Old High German gisiht sight, Old English sēon to see
Date: before 12th century
1. something that is seen ; spectacle
a. a thing regarded as worth seeing — usually used in plural <the sights of the city> b. something ludicrous or disorderly in appearance <you look a sight> 3. a. chiefly dialect a great number or quantity b. a good deal ; lot <a far sight better> <not by a damn sight> 4. a. the process, power, or function of seeing; specifically the physical sense by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space b. mental or spiritual perception c. mental view; specifically judgment 5. a. the act of looking at or beholding b. inspection, perusal c. view, glimpse d. an observation to determine direction or position (as by a navigator) 6. a. a perception of an object by or as if by the eye <never lost sight of the objective> b. the range of vision <was nowhere in sight> 7. presentation of a note or draft to the maker or draftee ; demand 8. a. a device that aids the eye in aiming or in finding the direction of an object b. plural aspiration <set her sights on a medical career> II. verb Date: 1602 transitive verb 1. to get or catch sight of <several whales were sighted> 2. to look at through or as if through a sight; especially to test for straightness 3. to aim by means of sights 4. a. to equip with sights b. to adjust the sights of intransitive verb 1. to take aim 2. to look carefully in a particular direction III. adjective Date: 1801 1. based on recognition or comprehension without previous study <sight translation> 2. payable on presentation <a sight draft>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.