This eye idioms list will be updated whenever I create a new mini lesson that includes some of these expressions.
It's easiest to remember idioms if you try to practice them yourself. At the bottom of this page is a place where you can write your own sentence. If you do, I'll be sure to give you feedback. :)
List of Eye Idioms
apple of one's eye: someone or something that is very important to someone; someone or something that they like very much.
- I know I shouldn't pick favorites but of all my grandchildren, my first granddaughter is the apple of my eye.
- As you can see, my father does a lot of gardening and those rose bushes are the apples of his eye. He's so proud of them.
a bird’s-eye view: a view from above something (just like the view a bird would see when flying over something).
- From the top of the tower you can see a bird’s-eye view of the whole city.
- I love hiking Old Rag mountain because you get to see a beautiful bird's-eye view of the valley from the top.
- I'm scared to fly but when I do I love the bird's-eye views of all the different cities below.
catch someone’s eye: to attract or capture someone’s attention.
- Helen’s mother wanted her daughter to buy the jeans that were on sale at a 40% discount but some designer jeans caught her daughter’s eye instead.
- I was walking along with something shiny caught my eye. Someone had dropped their diamond wedding ring!
cry one's eyes out: to cry very hard; or cry for a long time.
- Her dog died last week and she's been crying her eyes out every single day since then.
- My mom cried her eyes out when I left for college.
have an eye for something: to be good at noticing and appreciating something.
- My aunt has an eye for home decoration and always finds beautiful paintings and antiques at the flea market.
- You certainly have an eye for beautiful women, don't you?
have one’s eye on someone: to carefully watch someone.
- I’ve had my eye on my son ever since I found cigarettes in his backpack.
- The salesperson had his eye on me while I was shopping and it made me feel like I was a criminal or something.
have one’s eye on something: to like something and want to obtain it.
- I’ve had my eye on that handbag for a long time and will buy it as soon as I get my paycheck.
in the public eye: to be visible and known by many people in a community.
- Thanks to social media, many regular people we’d never know are now in the public eye.
- If you want to be an actor you better like being in the public eye.
out of the public eye: to not be seen or known by many people in a community.
- Although politicians are always in the news, most try to keep their children out of the public eye as much as possible.
- Many movie stars love going on vacation in other countries where they can relax and be out of the public eye for awhile.
keep an (one’s) eye on someone/something: to carefully watch someone/something.
- I asked my neighbor to keep an eye on my apartment while I’m on vacation and call me if there are any problems.
- I’m keeping my eye on the clock because I have to leave in exactly 15 minutes.
keep an (one’s) eye out (for someone/something): to watch carefully to see someone/something.
- I’m expecting my boyfriend to meet me for lunch, so can you keep an eye out for him and let me know when he arrives at the office?
- Keep an eye out for my car when you arrive at the airport. I'll keep driving around the arrivals terminal until you come out.
keep one’s eyes peeled for something: to watch carefully to see something.
- We should be approaching the road to Janice’s house soon so keep your eyes peeled for Orchard Street.
- Let's keep our eyes peeled for the bus so we can be the first ones on and get good seats.
keep one’s eye on the ball: to concentrate fully on doing something.
- If you’re serious about losing weight you have to keep your eye on the ball and carefully count calories as well as exercise several times each week.
more (to someone/something) than meets the eye: there is some additional information than what is currently known.
- I don’t know exactly what happened but there is more than meets the eye with our manager’s departure from the company.
not a dry eye (in the house): everyone is emotional and/or crying.
- Yesterday at the staff meeting when Stephen announced his daughter had finally died of cancer, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
not bat an eye / eyelid: to not react to something.
- Although I was shocked when my wife said she wanted a divorce I didn't bat an eyelid.
- How can you just sit there calmly and not bat an eye when your boss yells like that?
see eye to eye: to agree with someone about something.
- My husband and I see eye to eye on everything so we rarely argue.
- Luckily, our team sees eye to eye on this project so it's been a pleasure to work on it.
not see eye to eye: to not agree with someone.
- My parents are very conservative so we don’t see eye to eye on politics.
- The owners didn't see eye to eye on the direction of the of the company so they finally had to sell it.
turn a blind eye (to something): to ignore something.
- I knew my boyfriend was lying to me but I turned a blind eye because I didn’t want him to leave me.
- You're turning a blind eye to your daughter's drinking and partying but the problem is not going to stop until she gets help.
up to one's eyeballs in something: to be very busy or involved with something or to have a lot of something.
- I'm up to my eyeballs in dirty laundry and have been wearing the same pair of socks the last three days!
- As usual, we don't save so we're up to our eyeballs in debt after our holiday.
raise (some / a few) eyebrows: to cause people to notice and disapprove of someone or something.
- My secretary’s pink hair color raised a few eyebrows in the office but she’s so kind and such a good worker I haven’t said anything to her.
- Wearing jeans to my church would certainly raise some eyebrows. Don't you have a nice pair of pants?
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Looking at idioms with common words or themes can be a fun way to learn idioms. These infographics might help.
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